Oxford Street
Trade union Usdaw wants the government to act to stop workers getting abusedReuters

UK retail staff face a barrage of abuse as more than half of shop workers have been verbally assaulted over the last year.

The trade union Usdaw, which surveyed 5,021 retail staff across the country, found that an average of 241 shop workers are assaulted every day.

The research also revealed that 33% of retail staff were threatened by customers and more than half (56%) were verbally abused.

"Our survey shows that life on the frontline of retail can be pretty tough for many shop workers and there is still a lot to do to help protect them," said John Hannett, the general secretary of Usdaw.

"We have released our survey results on the same day that the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has published their Retail Crime Survey.

"Both show the levels of offences have remained pretty steady from last year, which is little comfort for our members on the receiving end of violence and abuse.

"A worrying aspect of the BRC report is the increase in the value of shop theft, because all too often these incidents can lead to the criminal assaulting or abusing shop staff."

The trade union, which has more than 433,000 members, called on the government to act on the matter.

"Crime in shops remains steady and is not coming down in line with the overall levels crime," Hannett said.

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