‘Working in a shop is more dangerous than being a bouncer’ says Leeds man stabbed in the face

3 May, 2019

‘Working in a shop is more dangerous than being a bouncer’ says Leeds man stabbed in the face

A former bouncer who was stabbed in the face says working in a shop is more dangerous than working on club doors, as shocking statistics reveal shop workers across Yorkshire are abused or assaulted more than once every three weeks.

Liam Algor, 28, was stabbed in the face, with the knife narrowly missing his eye, when he worked as a shop security officer.

He has spoken of his attack, as figures released by trade union Usdaw have revealed average shop workers across Yorkshire are abused, threatened or assaulted 19 times in a year.

Mr Algor said: “I was trying to apprehend a shop lifter and as I grabbed hold of him he pulled out a knife and stabbed me just above my eye, I was lucky as I could have been blinded.

“I have also seen people come into the shop and assault members of staff.

“I have heard from others of people being held at gunpoint when the shop worker simply asked for ID.

“There was one instance where a man came in to the shop for a paper and because the shop didn’t have it the man got out a petrol can and held a lighter to it, threatening to set the whole shop on fire.

“I previously worked as a nightclub bouncer and all I can say is I was involved in far less physical alterations than when I worked on shop security.”

Mr Algor, who is now a Usdaw trade union official in Leeds, is now helping other shop workers who have been victims of attacks.

He is currently working with people who have been threatened with needles and knifes, employees being spat on and shop workers pushed, punched and kicked.

A total of 64 per cent of shop workers across Yorkshire experienced verbal abuse, 45 per cent were threatened by a customer and 27 are assaulted every day in 2018, Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Survey shows.

Mr Algor said: “The figures do not make good reading and these incidents are becoming more and more frequent.

“The statistics show urgent action is required and our message is clear, abuse is not part of the job.

“We launched our Freedom From Fear Campaign in the face of growing concerns amongst retail staff about violence, threats and abuse. The campaign works with employers to promote respect and make shops safer for staff and customers alike.

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“So there needs to be action to help protect staff. We want the Government to provide stiffer penalties for those who assault workers; a simple stand-alone offence that is widely recognised and understood by the public, police, CPS, the judiciary and most importantly criminals.”

The Government has now opened a ‘call for evidence’ on the growing issue following pressure from Usdaw and a number of retailers and wants to hear the views of organisations and individuals about their experiences.

People can visit www.homeofficesurveys.homeoffice.gov.uk/s/PVAUE/ to make their own submissions.

Source – Yorkshire evening post