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Shadow Minister for Policing Alex Norris has reiterated his support for legislation that would make attacks on shop workers a specific offence.

The legislation was in progress however it stalled due to the dissolution of the government ahead of the General Election on 4 July.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) in Birmingham earlier this week, Norris said he believes it will still happen upon the creation of a new government.

In the Labour manifesto, the party pledged to proceed with the legislation, as did the Conservative Party in its manifesto.

“We were just weeks away from establishing the standalone offence, but I believe that in the near future we will achieve that change,” he said. “People ask ‘why should there be a standalone offence for retail workers - why not bus drivers or council workers?

“The difference is, you as retailers are asked by the government to enforce the law on things like alcohol sales, which are potential flashpoints for verbal or physical confrontations, and I believe we have a responsibility to have your backs for those moments.”

Norris added that, should his party be elected on July 4, he would also make it a priority to scrap the so called £200 rule, whereby some police forces do not pursue cases where a theft is valued below £200. “There is no acceptable level of value when it comes to crime,” he said.