REPORTS that almost two-thirds of shop workers have experienced verbal abuse have been slammed as “unacceptable” by Dumbarton’s MSP.

Jackie Baillie has given her backing to retail staff during trade union Usdaw’s ‘Respect for Shopworkers Week’.

Recent figures collated by the trade union state that nearly two-thirds of shop workers have been subjected to verbal abuse, 42 percent have reportedly been threatened by a customer, and five percent assaulted.

Ms Baillie said: “It is unacceptable that shop workers go to work in fear of their own safety.

"These statistics are stark as are the testimonies that go with them outlining how threatened shop workers really feel and the real-life situations they have been faced with.

“I fully back Usdaw’s campaign to make the public aware of the situations retail staff face every day and to increase respect for our shop workers.

 “The situation cannot carry on like this and, while I welcome the changes in the law introduced by my Labour colleague Daniel Johnson MSP, there needs to be definitive action to prevent these crimes as well as prosecute them.”

Usdaw goes on to add that around 60 percent of these incidents “were triggered by shoplifting”.

The annual ‘Respect for Shopworkers Week’ runs from November 13 to November 19 with Usdaw members raising awareness of the union's year-round ‘Freedom from Fear’ campaign.