Boots will be fitting their employees with body cameras in an effort to help stop growing levels of abuse aimed at staff by customers.

The high street chemist will be trialling the idea at several of their stores in Birmingham with the intention of rolling them across the UK if successful.

The move is deemed necessary after a concerning rise in abuse and assault aimed at retail staff across the nation during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Bosses and staff say levels of abuse and violence have been accelerating for years however, the pandemic seems to have intensified the situation.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, staff have reported verbal abuse and even physical violence from customers.

More than 400 retail workers abused every day

In March 2019, a report released by the USDAW union estimated that more than 400 retail workers a day verbally or physically abused by customers. That number is estimated to have shot up throughout the pandemic, with Co-op alone reporting a 40 per cent increase in abuse incidents in 2020.

It's thought that a number of incidents have been sparked by enforcement of rules around social distancing and mask-wearing in supermarkets, with abuse levels now so severe that senior retail leaders have written to the Prime Minister calling for a change in the law to make assaulting, threatening or abusing shopworkers illegal in England and Wales.

Last month, Scotland passed its own such legislation, making abuse or assault against shopworkers a specific offence in law.

Announcing the decision to trial wearable cameras in stores, a Boots spokesperson said: "Like other retailers, we are concerned about the increasing problem of violence and abuse experienced by hundreds of thousands of retail workers, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As part of our responsibility to ensure that our colleagues working in stores are safe, we recently started a trial of body-worn video cameras across a small number of stores in Birmingham."