Scheme launched to help vulnerable people shop in Portsmouth

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CITY officers are set to launch a safer shopping area for people with learning disabilities.

Portsmouth City Council’s trading standards officers will launch the scheme tomorrow, at Cascades Shopping Centre in Commercial Road.

To help vulnerable people become confident shoppers, they will be given a card they can show staff, which explains that they have learning difficulties.

The card will remind staff to put their receipt in the bag, count change out, and speak directly to them instead of their key worker.

The scheme follows reports that people with learning disabilities are more prone to bad customer service.

It is hoped the cards will reassure vulnerable people that they will be treated fairly and can be confident when visiting stores.

Zorica Lys, principal trading standards officer, said: ‘The majority of shops treat everyone fairly and respectfully, but we have received complaints about people with learning disabilities being sold faulty goods, not given refunds, and also being short-changed.

‘We decided to take action and organised a protect and respect group.

‘We delivered training in how to be a confident shopper, reminding them to ask for a receipt, and created the polite request cards.

‘I can honestly say this is the most worthwhile project I’ve been involved with.’