Association of Convenience Stores spokesman James Lowman has said that the government must look at ways to support independent retailers in their fight against crime.

Lowman made the call as Usdaw urges UK shoppers to show some respect to their local retail staff for first National Respect Day for Shopworkers, held on September 17.

Since 1995 more than 118,000 shopworkers have been attacked, more than 250,000 have been threatened with violence and more than 500,000 have been verbally abused.

Lowman said many store owners away from the high streets - which offer the protection of CCTV - find the cost of installing security measures prohibitive.

Home Office minister David Blunkett will join Usdaw leaders Sir Bill Connor and John Hannett in London to launch the event.

Blunkett said: "It is unacceptable that thousands of shopworkers are assaulted every year. Any initiative which aims to improve the safety of retail staff and the shopping public is worthy of the government's support."