New research suggests that almost 6,000 convenience store workers experience verbal or physical abuse on a daily basis as a result of asking customers for ID to purchase age-restricted products.
A survey of 500 store staff revealed that nearly 80% have been subjected to verbal abuse and 24% have been physically attacked after asking for ID. Under Age Sales, which spearheaded the research, estimates that 1,860 shop workers are physically attacked every day, based on 7.1% of respondents being subjected to physical attacks at least once per month.
In addition, over 250 racially-motivated attacks take place across the country each day, according to the survey. Some 23% of Asian British respondents said they had been physically attacked as a result of asking for ID, while 33% said they had been verbally threatened or abused on a weekly basis – compared with just 7% of White British workers.
Only a quarter of respondents who have experienced physical or verbal abuse for asking for ID have reported the incidents to police. Of those who did report it, 57% either did not receive a response or were unsatisfied with the response they received.
Tony Allen, managing director of Under Age Sales, said his aim was for Parliament to take the findings seriously “by bringing in stringent and stricter sentence powers against those who find it acceptable to become aggressive and inflict harm as a result of being asked for ID”.
The survey was commissioned by Under Age Sales, USDAW and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN), who have all launched a petition which calls on retailers and the general public to support them in bringing in stricter sentencing powers for magistrates. The survey found that only 18% think enough is being done to protect them against the threat of violence.
Allen also urged retailers to “create expectation” in store that abuse is not acceptable; to ensure staff are trained on Challenge 21/Challenge 25 procedures; and to report incidents to the police.
Only 16% of respondents are still to undertake Challenge 21/Challenge 25 training, while 17% don’t have any signage displayed in store.
The petition can be found and signed here: http://ow.ly/QnET30ajTe9