• Safer Highways

Co-op store manager who campaigned to protect staff from abuse honoured


A Co-op store manager from Essex has been honoured for her work to help protect her colleagues from abuse.


Claire Saunders was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours list for her efforts.


Speaking to the BBC Ms. Saunders tells how she has been physically assaulted and spat at and goes onto say that sadly the incidents are not isolated to just her but in fact all of her colleagues have suffered in the same way.


Co-op and Usdaw, the union for shop workers, had been working for three years to get greater protection for staff against abusive behaviour.


In December 2021 the government tabled an amendment to make attacking an individual who is providing a public service a statutory aggravating factor.


It means an offence would be considered more serious by a judge and could result in tougher penalties for anyone found guilty.


Through our Stamp it Out initiative, Safer Highways aims to make the abuse of not only roadworkers but also all public facing workers socially unacceptable.

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