|Lisa Nandy MP and Paddy Lillis|
The Union has produced a leaflet and petition against the cuts and will use its annual Respect for Shopworkers Week, which takes place between this week, to urge shoppers and members of the public to back the campaign and sign Usdaw's petition.
I joined Usdaw Deputy General Secretary Paddy Lillis and Lisa Nandy MP at the launch in the House of Commons.
Paddy Lillis said, "Every minute of every day another shopworker is assaulted, threatened or abused. That is why one of Usdaw's major campaigns is called Freedom From Fear. Shopworkers should be free from the fear of violence, threats and verbal abuse and it should never be accepted as just a part of the job.”
"Under the Labour Government, violent incidents against shopworkers halved because Labour invested in 12,000 additional uniformed police officers. Does anyone really believe that by cutting frontline policing, crime will continue to fall - as it did with Labour? That is not the logical conclusion I draw. I fear that when these cuts bite we will be left with a much less effective police force that will be grossly under-staffed and terribly demoralised.”
The first duty of Government is to protect us all. That is where this Tory-led Coalition will fail us with their unprecedented cuts in funding that will affect frontline policing. Don't just take my word for it - the Police Federation are saying that '20% cuts to policing are criminal'. With a predicted loss of 2,944 frontline police officers in Greater Manchester, I am very concerned about the effect on local crime levels.
You can sign Usdaw’s petition against police cuts here.