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The UK Home Affairs Committee has announced the launch of an inquiry into violence and abuse against retail shopworkers.

The new Parliamentary inquiry will explore the action taken by the police and employers to reports of incidents of violence or abuse.

The inquiry will also see the launch of a public survey, which will be open until 15 January 2021.

This online survey will provide an opportunity to individuals who have been directly affected by the incidents to provide a description of what took place following an incident reporting.

It follows the submission of a joint letter signed by various retail organisations including the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) to Home Affairs Committee Chair Yvette Cooper.

British Retail Consortium (BRC) has welcomed the launch of the inquiry and survey.

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BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Shopworkers around the UK have suffered for too long under the scourge of retail violence and abuse. No one should have to go to work in fear, just for doing their job. The BRC welcome the decision by the Home Affairs Committee to heed our call and launch an inquiry into this problem.

“We hope the inquiry will address the approach taken by the police in tackling retail violence and abuse and look at how those who commit these crimes are punished. We look forward to engaging with the inquiry.

“57 MPs have already signed their name and are standing alongside retail workers in their time of need, and we hope many more parliamentarians follow over the course of 2021.”

Last month, the annual survey conducted by the Usdaw revealed that 85.49% of respondents were verbally abused and 56.87% were threatened.