The ShopKind campaign has been launched and is running until Sunday 23rd April. Backed by the Home Office and over 100 retailers it aims to get across the message that the general public should be more kind and considerate in its dealing with shop workers.
Many Retail Employees Frequently Get Verbally Or Physically Abused
A recent consumer poll found that over a third of customers had witnessed a retail employee being either verbally or physically abused by another member of the public. The ShopKind campaign wants to raise awareness of this shocking statistic and to urge the general public to be more patient, thoughtful and kind with shop workers, as abuse can have a very harmful effect, both physically and mentally, on people who are only trying to do their job.
Unacceptable Behaviour Will Be Dealt With Robustly
Speaking about the campaign, Chief Superintendent Darrin Jones, the PSNI’s Business Crime lead, is quoted as saying on the Northern Ireland World website:
“As part of this week’s national ShopKind campaign, we are keen to highlight the impact of such abuse and violence against shop workers, and remind those who engage in such unacceptable behaviour that this may constitute an offence and will be dealt with robustly.
“We want to encourage people in the community to practice positive behaviour when they are in shops, and to acknowledge the important role that shop workers play, and treat them with respect and kindness.”
He added: “We believe everyone has the right to feel safe from crime, whether it’s at home, whilst out and about, or in their place of work. Shop workers play a vital role in our community and should never have to endure abuse, let alone violence, as part of their working lives.
“Everyone has the right to go to work without the fear of violence or intimidation, and there is no excuse to treat shop workers with anything but dignity and respect.
“We want to reassure those in the retail sector that we are here to support and work with you to protect employees.”
And in the same article Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts is quoted as saying:
“Retail NI fully support the ShopKind campaign, which brings together voices from across the retail sector, politicians and the PSNI to promote a message of respect for shop workers. Our colleagues USDAW’s annual survey found that nearly three-quarters of those working in retail suffered verbal abuse last year, with far too many being threatened or assaulted.
“These are key workers delivering essential services and we stand together to say that abuse should not be a part of their job. We need better co-ordination to ensure that retail employers, police and the courts work together to make stores safer and give staff the support and confidence they need to report incidents. This week of action is a great step towards that aim.”
We think this campaign is a fantastic initiative and really hope it helps to get the message across that people should show kindness to one another, particularly when out shopping, and that any abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.