WEEKLY COLUMN BY Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie 

LOCAL people are reporting their concerns that we are increasingly becoming a rude and abusive country.

For a growing minority, politeness and tolerance for others, it seems, has left them.

Far too often people seem intent on losing their temper rather than accepting mistakes are made or that things do not always go to plan.

The ability to lose patience with each other and the sewer-like discourse used on social media is seeping into the real world.

Veterans were telling me recently that they have noticed how unpleasant the real world can be for those who serve the public.

Last week, figures from the British Retail Consortium found violence and abuse against shop workers had shot up by 50% or 1,300 incidents a day.

The consortium called the situation a “crisis”. I’m writing this column on a train and all the staff are wearing badges that say – ‘please be kind, I am somebody’s loved one’.

They told me they are all wearing the badge to try to reduce the abuse. How did it come to this?

I also receive emails from people across Stroud district and from staff themselves appalled by how NHS workers are treated by the public.

Just in Kent and Sussex, more than 1,700 assaults were recorded on hospital staff in a single year - a 47 per cent increase.

Staff were spat at and punched by patients and their families. I will be asking what the figures are for Gloucestershire.

The government has increased sentences for those who attack emergency workers but the law can do only so much. It requires the majority in society to pitch in and say - enough.

As an MP I am routinely abused to the point where it is just normal for me.

A woman emailed and told me to stop ‘whining’ about abuse as I ‘deserve everything I get’.

Does she really think that public servants deserve rape threats and threats on their life or children?

I call this stuff out to try to protect my staff and other public sector workers and I will continue to do so.

People should be able to do their jobs without getting abused. Children should not be learning that such behaviour is okay on any level - online or offline.