Violence against smaller retailers is reaching fever pitch, according to new figures out this week.
Releasing its annual report on the issue, the Scottish Grocers Federation said physical attacks against staff were up by 15% year-on-year, with threats of violence soaring by 29%.
Its report also states that such assaults are becoming so commonplace that retailers are no longer bothering to report them to the police.
The alarming finding has been seconded by Londis, which is conducting extensive research into the problem with a view to creating training packages and courses for its stores and staff.
Its intervention follows a spate of attacks on Londis shops in the past few months - two of which were held up at gunpoint.
Paul Daynes, head of Londis’ training team, said: “We are desperately trying to get a handle on the problem. Hundreds and thousands of pounds are stolen each year, leaving staff terrified and retailers out of pocket. This is something the whole industry needs to act on.”