A £50,000 bounty is on offer to help catch those behind the most serious violent assaults on local shop staff.

The fund, to be run by Crimestoppers and underwritten by the Association of Convenience Stores, will pay significant rewards for information leading to convictions in high-profile cases. Decisions over the level of awards will be made on a case-by-case basis by the police and Crimestoppers.

Although the reward fund will be deployed in only the most serious cases, the initiative includes a wider commitment to raise community awareness of the violence facing shopworkers.

According to data from trade union Usdaw, UK shopworkers fall victim to violence at the rate of one a minute.

The fund was launched this week at the ACS Crime Prevention Forum in London and has been ­endorsed by Home Office minister James Brokenshire. It aims to highlight the most serious cases and provide an added incentive for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward to the ­authorities.

"Violence against shopkeepers is unacceptable and should not be tolerated," said Brokenshire. "Like the rest of the population, retail staff deserve to work in a safe and secure environment."

ACS chief executive James Lowman added: "We are proud to launch this ­reward scheme. Serious ­violent incidents against retailers must never go ­unpunished."