The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey David Munro is backing a Christmas campaign which encourages shoppers to be kind to retail staff over the festive period.
The #KeepingChristmasKind campaign aims to raise awareness of the abuse shop workers have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic and asks everyone to show respect towards those on the festive frontline over the coming weeks.
As shops in Surrey and elsewhere begin to reopen from today for the busy Christmas period – there is concern that those on the festive frontline could face some shoppers’ frustrations about wearing masks and social distancing measures.
According to retail trade union Usdaw, every minute of the working day during the pandemic somewhere across the country a shop worker was verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked.
A moving film has now been released to support the new national campaign, which is being backed by PCCs across the country, which includes the testimony of shop workers and their families who have described the abuse they have suffered during the pandemic:
“I worry about Sammie most days when she goes to work, she had a flare pulled out on her recently, it’s so scary.”
“My dad’s had beer thrown at his face and has been physically assaulted, it’s not okay.”
“My mum is just trying to do her job. I’m worried about her safety.”
The film features real people who have put themselves at risk working in essential shops and can be viewed here:
PCC David Munro said: “Our shop workers have provided an essential service to our communities during the pandemic which is why it is so sad to see the levels of abuse and sometimes violence they have been subjected to.
“Many of them have been unsung heroes during this time – helping to keep the country running, providing vital supplies and human interacton for people who may otherwise have been isolated and struggling.
“Nobody should go to work fearing they will be mistreated and three quarters of shop workers say that incidents of violence, threats and abuse have been worse during the pandemic. This is simply unacceptable and enough is enough.
“So please remember to show some kindness to the shop workers on the festive frontline who are going above and beyond to keep us all going this Christmas.”