Urgent action is needed to protect shopworkers, Dumbarton's MSP has warned.

Jackie Baillie was speaking following an attack on a shopkeeper in Cardross recently.

The Scottish Labour MSP has backed colleague Daniel Johnson, who has highlighted the shocking news that there have been almost 8,000 reported cases of shopworker abuse or assault since August 2021.

He has laid the issue bare in a letter to the new Chief Constable of Police Scotland, Jo Farrell which comes as a shopkeeper at Cardross Post Office was attacked following a reported theft from the store.

The incident took place on October 21, with police issuing descriptions of four 13-year-old girls they are keen to trace in connection with the disturbance.

And Ms Baillie has urged the new Chief Constable to ensure shopworkers feel safe.

She said: “It is a scandal that so many shopworkers face violence and abuse at work and I was shocked to read of the incident in Cardross recently, which must have been terrifying for the staff member involved.

“Workers are too often bearing the brunt of retail crime, and the astonishing number of crimes being reported exposes the scale of this crisis.

“The new legal protection offered by this bill was an important step forward, but it must be backed up with a comprehensive plan to prevent these crimes as well as prosecute them.

“Shopworkers must be safe at work, and the SNP must ensure the new Chief Constable has the support and resources she needs to make that a reality.”

Since the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021 was introduced, in order to tackle the abuse too many shopworkers face, it has been used a staggering 7,955 times.

Daniel Johnson’s letter was co-signed by the Scottish Retail Consortium, the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, the Federation of Independent Retailers, Usdaw, the Scottish Co-Op Party, and GMB Scotland, with Ms Baillie fully supporting its contents.