Two-thirds of British workers whose job involves contact with the public have not received any form of training in how to deal with violent or threatening behaviour.

The statistic, contained in a Home Office crime survey is cause of great concern to the Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers, whose campaign Freedom From Fear is aimed at reducing crime and the fear of crime in the retail workplace.

One of the campaign’s central themes is the need for all staff, including part-time and temporary workers, to receive basic training on dealing with violence.

The Home Office report does reveal that the risk of being a victim of actual or threatened violence is low. However, the fear of violence remains significantly high among workers in the retail sector.