Make I.D assault a specific offence, says NFRN

An influential trade body is calling for a new law to make assaulting a shop worker who has asked for I.D a specific offence.

The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) has made the plea to MPs and other stakeholders at the launch of its 2018 Retail Report.

The report also asked the government to ensure local police forces have access to statistics to show the cost of shoplifting to businesses, so resources can be allocated proportionately.

Calling for the new law, the Federation, which represents independently-owned shop owners, cited a 2017 report which said around 6,000 store workers face verbal or physical abuse every day when asking young-looking customers for I.D. Almost a quarter of the respondents have been physically attacked after asking for proof of age.

Linda Sood, National President of the NFRN, said : “Independent retailers play a critical role in communities across the UK. Our members pride themselves on being responsible retailers, ensuring that age-restricted products do not get into the hands of children and that the alcohol and tobacco we sell have had the correct duty paid on them.

She called for the government to revisit its “lenient” stance on charging and sentencing for assaults on workers. It also implored the government to do more to help protect shop workers in their place of work, in particular by introducing a specific offence for assaulting a shop worker when asking a customer for I.D.

The report also highlighted the cost of theft to small retail businesses and said NFRN members were saying customer theft was one of the biggest threats to their business. It claims the value of items stolen is increasing rapidly, with the medium value rising from £237 in 2012 to £500 today. Retailers are also reporting more organised levels of criminal activity, with criminals often moving around the country and across police borders.

As a result of these figures, the NFRN has called for the government to provide information about the cost of shop theft to Police and Crime Commissioners to help them make decisions about how forces distribute resources


The full report is available to download from the NFRN website here.

The NBCC’s guidance page includes advice for lone workers and help on how to make shops more secure.