Here's why Tesco staff will now be offered body cameras

Here's why Tesco staff will now be offered body cameras
Man armed with knife lunges at Tesco staff before using bike to …
Avon and Somerset Police

Staff at Tesco stores are to be offered body cameras because of a rise of violent crime, the supermarket's chief executive has said.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Tesco boss Ken Murphy called for tougher laws targeting offenders, after the company saw physical assaults increase by a third since last year and said England and Wales should be brought in line with Scotland, where the Protection of Worker's Bill makes it an offence to assault, threaten or abuse retail staff

"Crime is a scourge on society, and an insult to shoppers and retail workers. It is time we put an end to it," he said saying the abuse suffered was "heartbreaking".

It comes after the British Retail Consortium (BRC) published findings earlier this year, which found abuse against retail staff had almost doubled compared to pre-Covid levels.

In the BRC's Crime Survey published in March, it recorded more than 850 daily incidents in 2021/22, a steep rise from pre-Covid level of 450 a day in 2019/20.

These incidents included racial and sexual abuse, something it said was having a "huge emotional and physical impact on people".

The trade association, which represents more than 200 retailers in the UK, said the cost of retail crime was £1.76bn in 2021/22, with £953m lost to customer theft, and £715m spent on prevention.

"The pandemic has normalised appalling levels of violent and abusive behaviour against retail workers," said Helen Dickinson, the group's chief executive.

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