Local politician backs campaign for retailers across Midlothian North and Musselburgh to report all crimes as powers to punish those responsible for abuse in stores are strengthened
Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP, Colin Beattie, is urging local shop staff not to suffer silently as victims of abuse, violence and thefts, saying: “Don’t put up with it”.
He is supporting a new campaign spearheaded by the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF), encouraging retailers to report every single criminal act in their stores to police, in order to help turn the tide on costly and traumatic trouble.
Don’t Put Up With It has been launched after the Scottish Parliament backed a new law which will give shop workers stronger protection against abuse and assaults.
But, for The Protection of Workers Act to be effective when it comes into force later this year, SGF says that all incidents must be reported so that criminals come to realise that their acts will not be tolerated - and will be punished whenever possible.
It’s a call backed by Colin Beattie who has encouraged local shop owners to get behind the campaign and for customers to show respect to retailers, who have been at the forefront of community support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Colin Beattie commented:
“I would like to thank all retail workers across Scotland for the key role that they play in our communities. We have seen throughout the Coronavirus pandemic just how vital shop staff are in our society. I firmly believe that all workers should have the right to carry out their duties free from fear or threat.
“That’s why I’m supporting the Don’t Put Up With It campaign, as we can only understand the extent of the problem through reporting to the police, and building solutions from there. Retail workers deserve to have support in the workplace, as well as clarity in where to turn to when they face criminal acts at work.”
The Don’t Put Up With It campaign is being made possible as part of a £50,000 package from the Scottish Government to tackle retail crime. It will see SGF work closely with the charity Crimestoppers, its youth programme ‘Fearless’, and Police Scotland to spread the message.
SGF Head of Policy and Public Affairs Dr John Lee said: “No-one should have to put up with thefts or suffer abuse, threats or violence as they go about their work.
“We are delighted that the Protection of Workers Bill has been passed and grateful for this local political support. For retailers to know that they have such support will help them recognise the importance of this new law and give them confidence in reporting all crimes that happen in their stores.
“Some of what our shop staff have to put up with can be frightening and disgusting. As an industry, we should not have to sit back and tolerate it.
“We want to make it clear that we will not put up with crime in stores and will report every incident to police.”
To find out more about the campaign and find out how you can show your support, go to www.dontputupwithit.scot. Follow #dontputupwithit on social media.
Details about crimes should be reported to Police Scotland on 101. Call 999 in an emergency. Information about those responsible for offences can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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