The National Retail Association is calling for harsher penalties after it was announced today that a security guard was rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious condition after being attacked with a meat cleaver in a Gold Coast Shopping Centre.

Chief Executive Officer, Greg Griffith, is concerned for the welfare of the victim, and of staff in the shopping centre.

“The retail community is hoping for a speedy recovery, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim of the attack.

“This incident is incredibly traumatic for anyone to experience, and not just for the victim of this senseless attack, but for the staff in the mall and the emergency response personnel.”
“Retailers employ 1.3 million retail staff in Australia, and they need to feel safe and protected in their workplace,” Mr Griffith said.
“We commend the Police for their swift response and the shoppers who provided support and assistance to the victim.

“Most consumers are in stores to shop and are well-behaved, but there is an urgent need to address the behaviour of the few, aggressive individuals that slip through the cracks. We need to demonstrate there are consequences for their actions and send a clear message that ‘they are not welcome here.”

“The National Retail Association calls for stronger powers to be given to police to effectively act against aggressive individuals that pose a threat to retail workers.

“Once an individual has been identified for ongoing behavioural issues, the Police should have additional powers to prohibit those individuals from entering retail precincts indefinitely.”

Retail crime and individual aggression is on the rise, and we need stronger, consistent laws, as introduced in New South Wales, and South Australia, for those individuals who commit assault or violence toward retail workers.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe at work, and today’s incident has impacted the whole retail community.” said Mr Griffith.

“The National Retail Association will continue to advocate for tougher penalties and stronger reporting mechanisms.”

The National Retail Association is the voice of modern retail, representing more than 60,000 stores across Australia. It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast-food sectors for close to 100 years.

For more information, contact National Retail’s Media unit on 0467 792 013.