Awesome Image
Taking Action

Retailers must report crime

A landmark new law coming into force in Scotland this year will make it illegal to hinder or obstruct a retail worker as they are carrying out their job. The Protection of Workers Act also means that anyone who threatens, abuses or assaults a worker carrying out an age-restricted sale could be charged with an aggravated assault.

  • Text
This new legislation – supported by the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) – marks a significant step-change in the rights of workers. It should powerfully demonstrate the fact that retail crime is unacceptable, will not be tolerated and that criminals responsible for it will be punished.

But for the law to be effective, shop owners, managers and staff must report all retail crime.


The Don’t Put Up With It campaign urges everyone in retail to do exactly that – and for customers to support them in doing so.

Spearheaded by SGF with the support of the Scottish Government, Crimestoppers and Police Scotland, it is encouraging every retailer in Scotland to take a stand and let no crime against them go unreported.

Our message that retail crime will not go unpunished must be heard loud and clear. Police must know about every incident, from shoplifting – which staff will tell you is a daily occurrence in almost every convenience store in the country – to violence and verbal abuse.]


The scale of this problem should not be underestimated. A UK-wide survey by shopworkers’ union Usdaw found that 88% of those questioned had experienced verbal abuse; 61% were threatened by a customer and 9% were assaulted.

The Protection of Workers Bill was tabled in the Scottish Parliament by Edinburgh Southern MSP Daniel Johnson. Click here to watch how politicians showed their unanimous support for Scotland’s retail workers.

Facts & Figures

Incidents of violence and abuse towards retailers happen every day
billion - The annual cost of crime to retailers, according to the British Retail Consortium
percent of shop workers say they have experienced verbal abuse at work
The year that the rights of retail staff are strengthened

Take the
Don’t Put Up With It pledge

We are encouraging retailers across Scotland to show their support by publicly pledging that “We will report all retail crime” and posting a picture on social media using the hashtag #dontputupwithit. Find out who’s taken the pledge – and more about how you can show your support – here.

How you can get involved

Whether a retailer or customer, you can spread the word on the Don’t Put Up With It campaign by sharing the message on social media. Shop owners can display posters in their stores.