A convenience shop worker at Rota Express in London has been murdered by teenagers after refusing to sell them items including cigarette papers.
After they were refused the sale by Vijay Patel on January 6, the teenagers threatened to vandalise the outside of the shop. When confronted, the teenagers assaulted both Vijay Patel and the shop owner. Vijay died of his injuries in hospital two days later. A 16-year-old has been arrested and charged with murder.
A detective inspector from the Metropolitan Police’s homicide unit, Ian Lott said: “A man has lost his life for no reason other than trying to uphold the law.”
Shop worker’s union USDAW says 200 shop staff are assaulted every day in the UK, many after a retailer refuses a sale due to age or intoxication.
On three occasions, the Government has blocked law changes that would have given shop staff extra protection by making it a specific offence to assault shop staff when sales of restricted products are denied.
Tony Allen, founder of Under Age Sales, which helps advise retailers on age-related purchases, told Retail Express: “It’s sad to say, but incidents like this aren’t new. Politicians know this is an issue and nothing is being done about it in parliament.”
He continued: “When shop staff refuse a sale they are doing it for society’s protection, so they deserve to be protected by society.”
A further attempt to create laws to protect shop staff from assault is to be put forward in the Scottish Parliament this year, supported by the Scottish Grocers Federation, USDAW and Under Age Sales.
Do it: A page has been set up to raise money for Vijay Patel’s family, donate by visiting justgiving.com/crowdfunding/yitzchak-schochet