A sharp rise in assaults at the world’s biggest Primark store has left staff and members of the public injured, police records show.
More than 50 incidents have been recorded at the clothing brand’s flagship store in Birmingham city centre over the past two financial years.
One outbreak of violence at the multi-level superstore involved a person being pushed down the escalators and jumped on.
A member of staff at the branch on the city’s High Street was said to have committed another assault which caused injury.
The figures have been released amid a backdrop of aggression and violence at retail stores across Britain. Workers have borne the brunt of frayed tempers, which have been linked to squeezed budgets and rising prices.
Last July, Metro.co.uk reported on two women engaging in a brawl in front of shoppers. They were shown rolling around on the floor and trading blows in a clip which went viral on social media.
One of the women pinned her opponent to the ground and repeatedly said: ‘Let go, and I’ll let go of you.’
The number of assaults more than doubled over the past year, according to heavily redacted information disclosed by West Midlands Police.
In one incident, a victim was pushed down escalators after being involved in a fight. One or more people then ‘jumped on top of the victim’, who was left with swelling and bruises, according to a log.
In another case a verbal altercation between two shoppers turned violent and led to the injured party (IP) receiving a cut to the ear and having hair pulled out, another entry states.
An online dispute was said to have triggered a further attack where the offenders ‘jumped the IP at the offence location following a falling out over social media’. The victim was said to have been left with injuries to the hands and knees.
The number of recorded offences jumped from 18 between 2021 and 2022 up to 40 in the next financial year.
In the most recent 12 months, they included 13 assaults with injury and one case defined as ‘race or religiously aggravated assault with injury’.
Five members of staff and seven members of the public were hurt, according to the disclosure.
In one instance last year, a store employee was said to be the offender in a case defined as ‘assault with injury’, the dataset shows.
Violence towards retail workers is on the rise across the board as tempers rise amid the cost of living crisis, according to a report by the Retail Trust in November 2022.
A survey conducted by the charity found that one in three are shouted at, spat on or threatened or hit every week. Shoppers were said to be stressed by rising prices, empty shelves, and staff shortages.
Disclosing the information, West Midlands Police said that it had withheld some details to protect personal information and the integrity of investigations and proceedings.
Primark said at the time of the viral video that ‘the incident was dealt with swiftly by store management and store security’.
Responding to the figures, a spokesperson told Metro.co.uk ‘We take the safety of customers and colleagues in our stores very seriously.
‘We employ expert third party security partners to deal with incidents in a safe and controlled way, so that our colleagues feel safe at work and our customers can have a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.
‘Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour, not just in Primark stores but across the retail industry.
‘This is not something that we tolerate and we continue to engage with the police, local authorities and other agencies and businesses to explore different ways of tackling this issue.’
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