Knowsley crime

A Tesco worker’s petition calling on the government to make violence against retail workers a standalone criminal offence has received 12,000 backers.

It means the government must now respond to the petition, as it surpassed the 10,000 mark on Saturday, becoming one of the fastest-growing petitions on the official government website.

UK CEO Jason Tarry is among those backing the petition, which was launched last week by Jenny Whyte, who works in Tesco convenience stores in the north of England.

The petition is the latest move on store violence after Tesco group CEO Ken Murphy revealed last month all workers were being offered access to a body camera after what he called the “heartbreaking” impact on staff of attacks.

Violent incidents against Tesco workers are up by a third on this time last year. BRC figures show there are 850 incidents each day of violence and abuse towards store staff.

”I am fully behind the petition to make the abuse of retail workers a standalone offence,” said Tarry.

“We want our colleagues to be safe at work. Creating a standalone offence not only sends a strong message to the small but violent group of people who abuse and attack shopworkers, but also makes it clear to shopworkers that as a nation we take protecting them seriously.

“I would encourage anyone who wants to see retail workers better protected to sign the petition, as every signature makes a difference.”

Whyte said: “Nobody should come to work afraid that they could be assaulted or abused for just doing their job. Things have definitely got worse over the past few years, and some of the incidents that colleagues have had to deal with are truly shocking.

“The government could show it is serious about protecting retail workers on the frontline with a specific offence, and I hope this petition will encourage them to do that.”

To sign the petition visit: