According to Police Scotland, 1,924 crimes have been recorded under the Protection of Shop Workers Act in the first 7 months of the implementation of the law.
Promoted by Daniel Johnson (Member of Scottish Parliament, Labour), the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021) came into force on 24 August 2021.
The law provides a new specific offence for assaulting, threatening or abusing a shopworker and a harsher sentence if they were enforcing a statutory age restriction, resulting in a fine with penalties escalating to a prison sentence. According to the press statement of USDAW Union, Police Scotland reported that by the end of March 2022 1,924 crimes have been recorded under the Act. Most of these (1,130) were crimes of threatening or abusive behaviour of a retail worker. A further 786 involved common assault of a retail worker, there have also been eight serious assaults.
There is not data available on prosecutions or convictions yet.
Tracy Gilbert – Usdaw Regional Secretary for Scotland said: “The ground-breaking protection of workers legislation that came into force in Scotland last year was an important step forward, but we still need to encourage incident reporting. Usdaw has been working with employers to make it easier for staff to report attacks and abuse, highlighting the legislation to improve confidence, backed up with training, and promoting the importance of reporting all incidents.”