Shopkeeper tells RTE’s Prime Time how he was threatened with broken bottle
“I've had a bottle of wine broken and been threatened with the broken glass. I've had guys with needles…My son was threatened with a knife”
A concerned shop manager reveals that she has seen staff be “verbally, racially, and physically abused” in tonight’s episode of Prime Time.
This evening at 9.35pm, the RTÉ’s programme will report on the surge in harassment, vile abuse, and shoplifting that has hit Irish retail in recent months.
Shop staff across the country explain that they are experiencing more harassment, physical attacks, shoplifting, and anti-social behaviour than ever.
Shane Gleeson, who runs five Spar shops in Limerick city, estimates that petty crime is costing him €70,000 to €80,000 per shop each year.
“I've had a bottle of wine broken and been threatened with the broken glass. I've had guys with needles…My son was threatened with a knife,” he says in tonight’s episode.
“We've noticed since Covid a very small element of society has gotten far more aggressive, and it is difficult to deal with.
“Routinely, they'll say, ‘I will wait for you outside’, ‘We'll get you when you go home’, ‘I will kill you… I'll burn you out’.”
Elaine Brennan, an area Manager for Circle K in Dublin, adds: “I have witnessed staff members being verbally abused, racially abused, and physically abused.
“A small portion of our business will be 24/7 and at later stages of the night we get people in intoxicated.
“This would bring on aggressive behaviour, which leads to foul language, shouting and, unfortunately, sometimes they will put their hands on our colleagues.”
A recent survey conducted by the Retail Grocery Dairy and Allied Trades Association (RGDATA) found that 95pc of the 400 shops and supermarkets sampled have been victims of crime in the past twelve months.
The survey found that 93pc have been victims of shoplifting while a quarter have been the victims of robberies or burglaries.
Tara Buckley, Director General of the RGDATA, which represents over 4,000 independent grocery stores, says the situation is “out of control”.
“The amount of crime, day in, day out, shoplifting, theft, assault, harassment, racist attacks, sexual harassment…our members are really concerned,” she tells Prime Time.
“Young staff are being harassed; the racism staff who are from other countries have to deal with (such as) spitting, kicking, punching, shouting and making a scene in the store, throwing things at them. It's actually out of control.”
Watch the full ‘Retail Torment’ report on Prime Time tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.
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