Violence and abuse will not be tolerated on our high streets

Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has condemned the growing problem of violence and abuse targeted towards retail staff on the UK’s high streets.

There are more than 450 violent or abusive incidents committed in shops across the UK every day, according to information from the British Retail Consortium.

This is leading to retail staff experiencing fear and anxiety while at work, and an increasing concern for their physical safety and mental well being.

The information was given at a special round table event, bringing Police and Crime Commissioners together with the UK's major retailers to discuss the growing problem.

Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said: “The violence and abuse we are seeing directed towards retail staff is disturbing. These are senseless crimes that can ruin lives, leave people too scared to work, and cause harm and division within our communities.

“This issue is being taken very seriously by Gwent Police and I would urge anyone who has experienced violence or abuse to report it to that is can be properly investigated. Dedicated help and support is also available for victims who need it.”

Research also reveals that retailers are losing more than £900 million every year due to small scale thefts and shop lifting.

Jeff Cuthbert said: “Gwent Police’s newly launched We Don’t Buy Crime initiative is a proven way to reduce theft and re-offending, and I am delighted that we have taken the lead in Wales by introducing it here. By target-hardening shops and businesses we are sending a clear message to criminals that their actions will not be tolerated here.”

Incidents can be reported to 101, or via the Gwent Police Facebook page.

Help and support for victims is available from the Connect Gwent victims’ hub or by calling 0300 123 2133.