Rishi Sunak visited Sussex this morning to announce a new initiative to tackle shoplifting.

The Prime Minister was in Boots in Horsham earlier today. He announced new policies to make assaults against shop workers a specific crime.

He claimed that workers are “excited we’ve got their back” as new figures suggest shoplifting prosecution figures have dipped in the county.

Speaking to reporters this morning, Mr Sunak said: “An area that's been of increasing concern is the retail climate with shoplifting - people would have seen it happen on social media, it's absolutely not acceptable and it's particularly not right that our shop workers are having to deal with it.

“Today we outlined a range of measures to help us clamp down on retail crime including a new offence for assaulting a retail shop worker which has been welcomed but also greater use of electronic tagging and monitoring of prolific offenders.

“The greater use of technology, for example, CCTV matched with facial recognition on the police database that we've announced today, will make it more likely that we can catch criminals.

“I'm confident that given the measures we've announced today, building on what we announced last year, we will now see very strong progress in tackling this and crucially keeping our shop workers safe.”

The Prime Minister came to Swan Walk Shopping Centre to advertise government plans to make assaulting shop workers a specific criminal offence.

Violent and abusive incidents against shop workers rose by 50 per cent in the 2022-23 recording period.

However, new statistics from the Crown Prosecution Service today showed that the number of shoplifting offences leading to a first court appearance fell by two per cent, according to the BBC.

Mr Sunak was joined by Horsham MP Jeremy Quin and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the risk of councils going bankrupt, housing and potholes in Sussex.