Labour MP Graeme Morrice presented a Bill yesterday setting out punishments for assaults on shop staff and other workers in daily contact with the public.
Mr Morrice told the Commons of a shocking upsurge in verbal and physical assaults on shopworkers, teachers, health visitors, postal workers and bus drivers.
He demanded new legal rights for these workers, in line with protection already provided to firefighters and police officers under the Emergency Workers Obstruction Act.
The Livingston MP praised the efforts of shopworkers' union USDAW in the face of an 83 per cent annual increase in incidents of violence and verbal assault against retail staff.
Mr Morrice proposed a new specific offence relating to assault on people whose work brought them into face-to-face contact with the public.
A maximum sentence of 12 months and a £10,000 fine is stipulated in his Protection of Workers Bill.
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