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Assaults on those providing a public service

Assaults on those providing a public service

In 2022, new legislation was introduces which means people who attack shopworkers now face tougher penalties thanks to new legislation as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act.

The provisions make attacking any individual who serves the public, including shopworkers, an aggravated offence.

Figures from the ACS 2022 Crime Report showed that in the past year, 89% of colleagues working in convenience stores have faced abuse in their job. More than 35,000 incidents of violence have taken place, with over 16,000 incidents including the use of a weapon.

Retailers can play their part by reporting incidents, gathering and recording relevant evidence and by working closely with the police to ensure incidents are dealt with appropriately. It is crucial that violent assaults are reported to police and employers are able to provide the evidence to take these cases to court.

If retailers are a victim of crime they are also being encouraged to make an Impact Statement for Business (ISB), which is a written statement, which is intended to provide businesses that have been victims of crime with a voice in the criminal justice process. Where they are considered appropriate, courts can take account of the ISB when deciding what sentence to impose on the offender(s).

For more information download the NBCC Guide on Assaults on those providing a public service: