Chris Evans, MP for Islwyn, has called on the government to protect those who work in customer facing roles from abuse and violence. Mr Evans has also encouraged people to think more carefully about how they treat customer facing staff this Christmas period.
Following an increase in abuse faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the stresses of the new variant and Christmas pressures, Mr Evans is concerned that customer facing staff will receive more abuse than ever over the coming weeks. He maintains that action must be taken to tackle the long-term psychological impacts of this behaviour on staff.
Polling data released by the Institute for Customer Service found 49.7% of respondents had experienced an instance of customer hostility, with 60.3% receiving verbal abuse, and a staggering 26.8% being subject to physical abuse.
Commenting on these statistics, Mr Evans said that “it has been a very stressful year for people, and Christmas is always a stressful time for many, but I would like to remind people to make sure they don’t take it out on the staff they encounter. These statistics show that far too many workers are being subject to physical abuse”.
To protect customer service workers, especially over this Christmas period, Chris Evans MP is calling for the Government to take action to drive down abuse and hostility. He says that the Government needs to do more to encourage and enable the police and courts to tackle this issue through the establishment of a new standalone parallel offence: the ‘abuse of customer service worker’.
Speaking on the need for this offence, Mr Evans said:
“As we approach the festive period, in the face of the combination of frustrations over stock shortages, the pressures of the rising cost of living, and anxieties over the new COVID-19 variant, we the public must be respectful of the staff who have always worked so hard, both before and during the pandemic.
“The Government needs to step up to do more to protect these workers, and to enable the police to tackle this issue.
“This Christmas, ask yourselves how you would like to be treated. Following the sacrifices and losses we have all experienced over the last 18 months, kindness is never wasted. So, cool it this Christmas!”