Violent threats to shop staff at ‘unprecedented’ level says Wigan MP

Yvonne Fovargue MP is pictured with Ian Hall, area manager, Ian Curtice, store manager and staff members Sharon and Louise
Yvonne Fovargue MP is pictured with Ian Hall, area manager, Ian Curtice, store manager and staff members Sharon and Louise

An MP backed a campaign against attacks on workers when she visited a Wigan shop.

Yvonne Fovargue went to the Co-op on Warrington, Road, Platt Bridge, yesterday to mark Respect for Shopworkers Week.

She discussed community safety issues with shop staff and heard about the Co-op’s operational programme to help tackle crime.

The Co-op is backing USDAW’s campaign and Respect for Shopworkers Week.

It comes just weeks after 73-year-old “paper lad” Malc Horrocks suffered a head injury and black eye when he was attacked by robbers during an early-morning armed raid at Aspull Village Stores.

Ms Fovargue, who represents Makerfield, said: “Shop workers face an unprecedented level of threat from violent incidents as each day across the UK six are threatened with a knife and two with a gun. Recent figures show that across the country violent, weaponised crime is on the rise with a 16 per cent increase in incidents involving knives.

“Products can be replaced and stores repaired, but violent crime in shops often has a shocking, and lasting, impact on those working at the frontline.

That is why I am backing this important initiative as we must all do everything we can to help reduce these attacks.”

Paul Gerrard, director of campaigns at the Co-op, said: “Retail crime is often considered to be victimless as people think it only involves a faceless business losing stock or money. However, it is not the shop that is left bruised, bleeding or traumatised.

“This type of crime has nothing to do with profit and everything to do with people.

“In the months ahead, we’ll be looking to work with local community groups and other neighbourhood leaders who are engaged in tackling the root causes of crime, to see if we can identify mutual solutions to shared concerns.”