Around 400 assaults are taking place every day against Britain’s shop workers.

Retail staff face soaring fury over sales of age-restricted goods such as booze, cigarettes and knives, as well as being harassed by drunks and drug addicts.

A shock survey shows each worker is verbally abused, threatened or assaulted around 21 times a year. The Mirror has seen the early findings from the shop workers’ union USDAW’s Freedom from Fear survey of more than 4,000 staff.

Assaults are up by a third on last year with staff being headbutted, kicked, threatened with blades and syringes, groped, flashed at and stabbed with keys.

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Paddy Lillis, of USDAW, said: “The statistics show urgent action is required.”

Pat Gibbons, 59, who was stunned by the violence she met in a shop after being a barmaid and a taxi driver in Liverpool, said: “There is no fear and no respect.”