Increase in charity shop thefts
25 April 2012
We are deeply disappointed and saddened by the news of a sharp increase in the number of shoplifting incidents in our shops over recent months.
Our 36 shops in Scotland have over a dozen theft-related incidents a week and the problem is so bad in some areas that managers are spending more of their time dealing with thieves than selling stock.
We've asked police to take firmer action against thieves who see charity retailers as a soft target and urge our loyal customers to remain vigilant and report anyone they suspect of shoplifting.
We are doing everything we can to ensure that every donation goes towards helping homeless and badly housed people across Scotland.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland
Research released earlier this month reported a 20% increase in shoplifting in charity shops over the past two years, up from an estimated £4.25 million to £5.1 million in 2011. In comparison, there was a 14% increase in shoplifting rates across the high street.
We ensure that every case of shoplifting is reported to the police. Unlike our high-street competitors, we are unable to invest in anti-theft technology such as CCTV cameras and so have to rely on the police and members of the public to act as eyes and ears to catch heartless thieves.
Graeme Brown Director of Shelter Scotland, said:
“We’re deeply disappointed and saddened that our shops are increasingly being targeted by shoplifters but we will not stand for it any longer. Our shops are a vital source of income in our fight to end bad housing and homelessness so anything that diverts from that cause is simply unacceptable.
“Our shops are staffed largely by dedicated volunteers who give up their own time and efforts for a good cause. Unfortunately a lot of their time is increasingly spent in dealing with and preventing thieves, almost on a daily basis."
Despite the increase in shoplifting rates, Graeme Brown urged the public to continue to support Shelter Scotland and donate their unwanted goods to the charity’s shops. Graeme Brown said:
“We’re always grateful for donations from the public and do everything we can to ensure that every donation and every penny raised goes towards helping us to end bad housing and homelessness for good.
“Our primary focus is to raise money for our cause and I would like to reassure members of the public that we are doing everything we can to ensure that every donation goes towards helping homeless and badly housed people across Scotland. We will not be deterred by heartless thieves and will continue our campaign until there is a home for everyone.”
If you are aware of or suspect someone is shoplifting in one of our shops, please report it to a member of staff immediately.