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Huppert supports campaign to protect shopworkers from violence

December 9, 2010 12:12 PM
Huppert and Co-op workers

Julian joins the staff at the Co-op to support a national campaign to keep them safe.

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert joined city shop workers to show his support for a national campaign to protect them from violent and abusive customers.

Julian visited the Co-op store in Ailsa Court off Chesterton Road to discuss the ways in which the Co-op has worked with the local community to try to stamp out retail crime and anti-social behaviour.

The visit was organised in support of the Respect for Shopworkers campaign launched by the shop workers' union Usdaw.

Julian heard how the Co-op has piloted a new approach in its stores, teaching staff how to avoid conflict with customers and empowering them to make the right decisions in response to threatening behaviour.

Figures released by Usdaw show that every minute of every day a shop work is verbally abuses, threatened with violence or physically attacked.

But the Co-op says that its training which is offered to all new members of staff, has led to reductions in the numbers of physical and verbal assaults bucking the industry trend.

Julian said: "It is unforgiveable that shop staff trying to do their jobs should be subjected to violence and abuse from customers and have their safety compromised in this way.

"I applaud the Co-op's initiative which is clearly helping staff to deal with threatening situations and making it safer for all concerned."

A Co-op spokesman said: "We remain as committed as ever to work with parliamentarians, local authorities and the police to find the ways to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour through strong partnerships and nationally through positive policy development."