NORTH West Durham MP Laura Pidcock has thrown her weight behind a campaign seeking to prevent verbal abuse, threats and violent attacks at work.

Ms Pidcock, who is on maternity leave, visited Tesco Extra, Genesis Way, Consett, in support of a campaign, Freedom from Fear, which seeks to prevent verbal abuse, threats and violent attacks at work.

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has launched Respect for Shopworkers Week with shocking statistics showing that incidents of violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers remain a major problem on the frontline of retail.

The interim results of Usdaw’s survey reveal that during 2018, six in 10 shopworkers experienced verbal abuse, 37 per cent were threatened by a customer, with over 230 assaulted every day.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary, said: “This week our members are out campaigning on high streets, in shopping centres and stores; talking to the public and asking them to ‘keep their cool and respect shopworkers’.

Retail staff have a crucial role in our communities and that role must be valued and respected.”

Ms Pidcock said: “There are clearly increasing worries about the levels of violence, threats and abuse in retail. Sometimes, this results in tragedy.

“Only in September this year, we heard about the horrific stabbing to death of a Sunderland shop worker, Joan Hoggett, who was killed at the One Stop Shop in Fulwell.

“But it’s also the low level, violence, threats and abuse that shopworkers get as a matter of course, in their daily routines at work that needs to be highlighted and tackled.

“It’s not acceptable for people to be subject to the stress and fear that brings and I’m very pleased that Usdaw are tackling this issue head on with the Freedom from Fear campaign.”