‘The voice of 3 million retail workers is finally being heard on crime’

Two police officers on a busy street

A new law that makes assaulting store staff a specific offence is welcome news and shows that retail – an industry that sometimes feels ignored by those making decisions – can still exert influence in the corridors of power, says George MacDonald

A group of three men enter a store in a sleepy village in the north of Yorkshire. It’s mid-evening, not the busiest time for this late-opening shop and so a good time for thieving.

Within the space of a minute or two, they sweep shelf-loads of goods into their bags and make a dash for the door. They pile into a car waiting on the street outside and speed off into the night with their swag. In the store, the staff make the obligatory calls as customers look on in shock.


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