Stores issue employees with body cams to help prevent customer abuse

According to the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) shop and retail workers in general have been abused, threatened and assaulted at least on a weekly basis.

These figures are showing double the amount of 2019 when, on average, it used to happen once a fortnight. These figures are what the statistics show us but a store manager for Co-op Food in central London said that it is actually much worse.

Peter Denys told Sky News that it happens on a daily basis, with some days having 3 or 4 incidents. He said that his staff are threatened with knives, bottles and syringes and, with the onset of corona virus, they are spat at as well.

The violence seems to stem from them being asked to adhere to the social distancing measures in place in the store. He went on to say, while pointing down at the one way arrows on the floor, that some people ignore them and to others it becomes the start of a heated argument which, more often than not, leads to violence of some kind.

The co-operative supermarket chain is one of many nowadays that have body cameras as part of the staff uniform. Footage of the workers daily life is recorded by a remote unit and can be used as evidence if it comes to prosecution.

Mr Denys said that it does help in diffusing situations as, when you tell them they are being recorded, a lot of people just leave the store without causing a scene. USDAW is calling on the government to provide more protection for shop workers with new legislation and tougher sentencing against such criminals.


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