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One In Three Asda Staff Attacked At Work, Survey Finds

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A recent survey by GMB, one of the UK's largest unions, reveals one in three Asda employees have been attacked at work. 

The poll, which included nearly 1,000 GMB members, reported incidents ranging from stabbings and punches to threats with syringes. 

Delivery drivers shared harrowing accounts of being chased by people in cars.

Some store workers recounted having food thrown at them. 

Over half (58 percent) of the respondents reported suffering injury or illness on the job. 

Employees described being spat at, having bones broken and being hit with bottles.

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Some even received death threats against themselves and their families. 

Delivery drivers also faced bizarre encounters, such as being confronted by naked customers.

Store workers also endured attacks involving watermelons and joints of gammon.

The issue of violence against shop workers in the UK has been escalating. 

In February, there were reports of 1,300 incidents of violence and abuse daily, alongside a rise in brazen shoplifting

An April report by the British Retail Consortium indicated a 65 percent increase in violence and abuse in shopping centres from 2021-22 to 2022-23. 

Incidents ranged from stabbings and punches to threats with syringes 

The demand for body armor, including stab vests for shopping centre security staff, has surged over the past two years.

The government announced plans in April to introduce harsher penalties for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales.

This was through a new standalone criminal offense of assaulting a retail worker

However, this measure was dropped during the legislative "wash-up" period last month.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, addressed the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) annual conference.

He pledged to reverse what he termed the Tory “shoplifter’s charter”.

This is a current law under which theft of goods worth less than £200 is not investigated.

The GMB survey, set to be discussed at the union’s annual congress in Bournemouth, revealed 339 respondents (35 percent) had experienced verbal or physical violence at work.

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GMB national officer Nadine Houghton called the findings “horrifying."

She emphasised no one should face such abuse and violence at work. 

She warned the situation could worsen as staff hours are reduced, leaving fewer employees in stores and increasing their vulnerability.

An Asda spokesperson said: “The safety of our colleagues is a primary concern, which is why we have invested over £30m in upgrading CCTV systems in stores over the past three years.” 

“We work with all of our colleague representatives in the important area of colleague security and also back calls for violence or abuse against retail workers to be made a standalone criminal offence in all parts of the UK, and hope this is a priority for any incoming government.”

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