Crime minister Victoria Atkins has revealed the details of a new package that will enable the government to move quicker and take action in reducing violence and abuse towards shop workers. 

The news comes after national president Mike Mitchelson and head of political engagement Adrian Roper attended a roundtable in December, alongside MPs, retail groups and trade organisations. 

A letter from Atkins to attendees dated 22 January read: “While there is some promising work which is close to fruition and will result in a comprehensive package of guidance to retail staff, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) about how to address this issue, I think there is more we can do to respond to the concerns raised by you and those organisations who attended the roundtable.”

She confirmed that when the Offensive Weapons Bill enters the committee stage in the House of Lords, the government intends to announce the following package: “A call for evidence on violence and abuse towards shop workers to help ensure we fully understand this issue and consider all options for addressing it; funding for the sector to run targeted communications activity to raise awareness of the existing legislation in place to protect shop workers; and refreshing
the work of the National Retail Crime Steering Group on violent crime. 

Atkins added that she will discuss the package at an extraordinary meeting of the group she is chairing on 7 February.”

Atkins also explained that the Sentencing Council is reviewing its guidelines on assault and a consultation is anticipated to commence in the summer. 

NFRN national president Mike Mitchelson told RN: “At long last I am pleased to see the Home Office are now taking on board the lobbying activity as abuse of shop workers and owners is becoming more serious as days go on. 

“We welcome and support the government in seeking evidence and looking at measures to strengthen their safety.”

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