Proposed legal changes could make it a specific offence in Scotland to assault convenience store workers while they carry out their duties.

The call for the change in legislation, which would give shop workers the same protection as emergency workers, comes from the Scottish Grocers Federation as it released its manifesto for the Scottish parliament election.

“Shop workers are front line staff,” said John Lee, SGF head of policy & public affairs.

“They’re particularly vulnerable while they’re working alone – and attacks on them affect the worker, their families and their community.”

The proposition comes six years after an MSP’s attempt to bring the same notion into Scottish Parliament was defeated.

The Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act of 2005 made it a specific offence to hinder, obstruct or assault someone in the provision of an emergency service.