This week in the House of Commons, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron voted in favour of an amendment to the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which would strengthen the punishments for people who attack or abuse retail workers.
Figures released last month revealed that across Cumbria there were 73 attacks on Tesco staff in 2020/21, up from 48 in the previous year. Since April this year 20 assaults have already been recorded.
The cross-party amendment would make it a specific criminal offence to assault, threaten or abuse a retail worker with a 12-month prison sentence, fine or both as punishment.
However this proposal was voted down by Conservative MPs, by 233 votes to 350.
The vote comes just days after the Home Affairs Select Committee made a series of recommendations to better protect shopworkers, including the introduction of a new offence for attacking a shopworker.
Speaking after the vote, Tim said: "It's absolutely despicable that we're seeing more and more incidents of shop workers being abused and assaulted for simply doing their job.
"Those working in essential retail during lockdown played a huge part in keeping our country going - they deserve our thanks and our respect.
"So I'm deeply disappointed that the Conservative Government voted against measures which would give them much greater protection from being attacked."
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