MP COLUMN: Concerned over rise in abuse towards bank staff

Health and care workers were deservedly applauded from the start of the Covid lockdowns.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 3:13 pm
Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP.

But other key workers were neglected. I’m thinking of those who keep our banks open. Many people can go online but others cannot cope. Opening the banks was vital for them.

But I have been told that verbal and aggressive behaviour towards bank staff has grown exponentially throughout lockdown.

It’s astonishing how thoughtless people can sometimes be. I was told of the person who put her bank card in her mouth while foraging in her bag.

She then expected the cashier to handle the card and got abusive when told this wasn’t going to happen.

Nationwide Building Society representatives are rightly very worried about abusive and violent actions against their staff.

They asked me to support their campaign in association with the Co-Op and the shop workers’ union, Usdaw to expose abuse of their workers.

An MP who represents the Co-Op is trying to put a Bill through Parliament to toughen the law and further protect retail workers.

The Usdaw union usually mounts a campaign to urge respect for their members and to call for tough action on violence in the run-up to Christmas.

This Christmas is going to be quite different thanks to Covid. We now have the rule of six in social gatherings anywhere and that will kybosh many family gatherings. There may be other restrictions and local lockdowns.

No one likes these restrictions and we may get more fractious and frustrated. But let’s respect those who run risks in serving us. We should always treat others as we would want to be treated.

Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP.