The Northern Ireland Business Crime Partnership and Crimestoppers have launched a joint campaign to support shop workers and encourage reporting any incidents of abuse while they are at work.
Speaking on behalf of the Northern Ireland Business Crime Partnership, Chief Superintendent Jonathan Roberts said: “As more retailers and businesses open their doors and customers return, it is essential that we respect all shop workers as they implement and maintain new safety practices.
“We believe everyone has the right to feel safe from crime, whether it’s at home, whilst out and about, or in their place of work. Shop workers play a vital role in our community and should never have to endure abuse, let alone violence, as part of their working lives.
“Police patrols will continue to pay particular attention to all retailer outlets, both open and closed in the weeks ahead. All members of the Business Crime Partnership will continue to work collaboratively with local businesses, representative bodies and agencies alongside the community to prevent harm, protect our citizens and detect offenders. In addition to following all the available safety advice, I would encourage everyone in the business and retail community to report all incidents of crime directly to police by dialling 101 or anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers so we can work together to prevent these crimes.”
Justice Minister Naomi Long said: “It is completely unacceptable that any shop worker is subjected to abuse. We have seen over recent weeks the vital support which local businesses and their staff have provided to our communities during the Covid-19 crisis. The Crimestoppers social media campaign is a clear opportunity to show shop workers that we value the work they do and that being abused is not part of their job. I fully support this campaign and would encourage staff or members of the public to report incidents to the PSNI or Crimestoppers.”
Susan Brew, regional manager of Crimestoppers NI said: “There can never be an excuse or justification for being abusive, aggressive or violent toward people working in the retail sector. This type of crime cannot be normailsed and that is why we are encouraging people to always report incidents either directly to police, or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”