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Lincolnshire Police's #ShopKind scheme has prompted responses from South Holland businesses

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Police have urged shoppers to make sure they are respectful towards staff during the Christmas period.

Lincolnshire officers are using a #ShopKind tag in a bid to ensure busy retail workers are treated properly over the next few weeks.

They have teamed up with the Home Office and the Crimestoppers charity for what will be the first festive period with stores fully open since 2019.

Andy Woodthorpe, manager at Robert Goddard in Spalding, has asked customers to be kind this Christmas
Andy Woodthorpe, manager at Robert Goddard in Spalding, has asked customers to be kind this Christmas

This comes after nationwide research suggested that 38% of UK shoppers have witnessed either verbal or physical abuse vented at staff.

Lincolnshire Police superintendent Lee Pache said: “The overwhelming majority of shoppers recognise how busy shop workers are during the Christmas period, but there remains a minority of people that are aggressive and, in the worst cases, physically violent towards people working in shops.

“Everyone has the right to go to work without the fear of violence or intimidation, and while we recognise that shopping and the festive season can be stressful for some, we are really clear, there is no excuse to treat shop workers with anything but dignity and respect, therefore we want to re-assure those in the retail sector that we are here to support and work with you to protect employees.”

Andy Woodthorpe, who is manager at Spalding designer store Robert Goddard, said while he and his staff rarely experience negativity from customers, the police message is still important.

“I know in other stores you hear stories about members of staff getting angry, and I don’t think the public always treat sales assistants as well as they should,” he said.

“I think people just need to remember that for any staff working weekends over Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years Eve, everyone else is enjoying the holiday but for any retail worker this is our key trading period when everyone else is off.

“Just be a little bit considerate.”

Antoinette Young, of Antoinette’s Vintage in Donington, said she rarely experiences any anti-social behaviour in her store.

“People usually are nice to us, especially at the vintage shop,” she said. “They’re not so scared now, so it’s a lot better.”

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