Usdaw wants freedom from fear

Posted On 11 Nov 2013
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The shop-workers’ trade union Usdaw has launched a report on violence, threats and abuse faced by its members at work. Whilst there has been a welcome decrease in the number of incidents there are still many shop-workers suffering in silence. Usdaw’s campaigning with employers over the last ten years has made a difference but there is still a high level of incidents that go unreported. Incidents of serious violence have come down, based on the reported figures in the BRC annual survey. Speaking at the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Retail Crime and Loss Prevention Conference, Doug Russell, Usdaw Health and Safety Officer said:” For the last six years, Usdaw has surveyed shop-workers to collect information on the extent of violence and abuse they experience and to gauge their attitude toward the problem. It involves a personal discussion on a one-to-one basis between a shop-worker and an Usdaw rep and has shown that there is a considerable amount of under-reporting compared to the BRC survey, which reflects the incidents shopworkers report to their managers.” There is a substantial difference between the levels of violence and abuse recorded by Usdaw reps in face-to-face discussions with workers and the incidents reported to employers, which form the basis of the BRC annual crime survey: Violence: BRC 2 in 1,000″ Usdaw 4 in 100 Threats: BRC 3 in 1,000″ Usdaw 36 in 100 Abuse: BRC 7 in 1,000″ Usdaw 61 in 100 This demonstrates that whilst shop-workers are prepared to tell an Usdaw rep about their experiences when asked, they are not reporting incidents to their managers. John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary says,” There clearly is a lot of under-reporting of incidents and our message to shop-workers is that abuse is not a part of the job. We are encouraging our members to report all incidents of violence, threats and abuse to their managers and help get the issue tackled. At the heart of the Freedom From Fear Campaign is joint working with employers to make the workplace safer. Our message to shop-workers is: ‘We can sort it – if you report it.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.