‘Labour a protected pair of arms for employees because it plans clamp down on shoplifting’

Labour a safe pair of hands

It’s not just Britain’s streets which are more dangerous under the Tories. So are supermarkets, especially if you work in one. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says muggings and robberies went up 11% last year. But there has also been a staggering 37% rise in shoplifting.

The nature of this crime has changed, too. A shoplifter was once someone who pocketed an extra pack of biscuits. Now, organised crime gangs move in to clear entire shelves of high-value goods. And if shop staff get in their way, they risk more than a push or shove. Yvette Cooper tells us today how they face being threatened with hammers and knives, or even sprayed with petrol. That’s why if she becomes Home Secretary she will introduce a law making assault and abuse of shop workers a specific offence, as unions demanded.

And under a Labour government police will no longer be able to ignore shoplifters who steal products worth less than £200. Labour will also make good on the 20,000 extra prison places the Tories promised 10 years ago but fell short of creating.

Our streets will be safer with the 13,000 extra neighbourhood police and support officers on them that Ms Cooper has pledged to recruit. People should be able to walk to and from the shops free of fear and know they will not encounter violence as they step inside. And it would be a crime if Britain is denied the government which will deliver on that.

Fatcat outrage

Fatcat bosses award themselves sky high salaries simply because they can. But it’s not just huge pay packets that is an outrage – it’s the way they keep increasing. Top bosses got 20 times average worker earnings 40 years ago. Twenty years ago that had risen to 50 times. Now, some CEOs are pocketing 480 times the average pay. If reward for work was divvied out fairly, the percentage rise in the boardroom would match that of the workforce.

Instead, bosses look for ever more inventive ways to cut costs and shed jobs to boost profits and pay themselves more. Which is why Labour promises to outlaw pernicious practices such as fire-and-rehire and zero-hours contracts. That won’t stop excessive pay for fatcats. But it will mean working people get to lap up a little more of the cream.

True trouper

It clearly pained the Princess of Wales, as ceremonial colonel of the Irish Guards, to miss their Trooping the Colour rehearsal yesterday. But Kate can be assured everyone wants her to have all the time and space she needs to get fighting fit . Which will put a spring in the marching of her Irish Guards when they next salute her.