Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Give And Taken

Three women have been spotted in one night helping themselves to donations left outside the British Heart Foundation charity shop in Central Road. Two women were spotted just after 3am Monday morning (Sunday night) by vigilant CCTV operators in the Control Room at Sutton Police Station rummaging through the charity bags left in the doorway of the shop. Video recordings show the women pulling up in a car, searching the bags of donated goods, and choosing a selection to load into the boot of their car.

One of the officers from the control room quickly headed out and caught them on their way back towards Sutton driving along Cheam Road. The officer arrested the women for theft and they were each issued with £90 fixed penalty notices.

The women aged 47 and 72, who both live on the Benhill Estate, were found in possession of a pink toy box, two lampshades, a black bag of toys and plastic box of various items. The officer returned the goods to the charity shop in Worcester Park whilst the control room kept the cameras trained on the shop front.

Soon after this, CCTV operators watched in astonishment as another woman turned up, pulled out a teddy bear from one of the bags and gave it to her dog before walking off. Police took no action this time.

Insp Andy Stalley commented: “It’s wonderful we live in a borough where people want to give to help charities. But it’s clear that leaving goods in doorways overnight makes them easy targets for thieves.”

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, advises:

  • Don’t leave goods outside charity shops; take them to the shop during opening hours
  • If you can’t visit a charity shop during opening hours, ask whether the shop collect items from your home
  • Consider using charity house-to-house collection sacks posted through your front door. Make sure the collection is for charity by looking out for a registered charity number and check it against the online register at (see this website for more information too.)

I note that this particular charity offers free collection of your unwanted things by phoning 0208 330 7428. There, problem solved.

15 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

pamsaunders said...

I live on the Purley way in Croydon and we have a shop that pays out £5 a kilo for bagsif clothes once they have all been inspected I'm sure this is not legally operated as I am sure they must resell them to others with a big profit bysellingthem on eBay or such site's what does anyone think?

guest said...

It will all be perfectly legal, you sell them rags and they resell them for the best price they can get. Rag and Bone men have a long tradition in this country, though they like to be called Antique Dealers these days.

chell said...

There is also a shop in North cheam that pays by the kilo for unwanted clothes. Branches in Rosehill and Epsom too. Think it's called red cloud? In north cheam it's just along from sainsburys and the wetherspoons pub.

Flower Delivery Guy said...

I have an issue with some charities as most of transactions are paid for in cash and some of the prices are ridiculous especially when you are paying for incomplete items or nearly broken. I am talking about FARA in particular. And the staff do not seem to care at all. Surely a charity will be a bit more welcoming.

sue robinson said...

I volunteer at The Children's Trust in North Cheam. We regularly have donated item taken from outside the shop. Not just small things, furniture too (they pull up outside with a van) they use to just cherry pick the good stuff but now they take the bags of clothes too as they can sell them in the cash-for-clothes shop.

isitjustmeoriseverythingshit said...

If people didn't fly tip then this would not happen. Take your charity stuff to the shop when its open and hand over to the staff. Simples. Unfortunately there are too many scrotes about who will have anything if it ain't nailed down

justasking said...

If items are left outside the store, isn't this technically fly-tipping, so aren't the items therefore fair game ?

guest said...

Actually No, it is theft unless you check with the shop to find out if it's discarded or not.

It's exactly the same as finding a penny or a Rolex in the street, you need to give it to the police, if not claimed in three months it becomes yours.

Even if it is in a bin or skip, it's the same.

Guest no.2 said...

However, to answer justasking's other point, dumping something outside a charity shop is exactly the same as dumping it anywhere else in a public place - it is indeed fly-tipping, which is another reason not to leave anything outside a charity shop, as recorded on CCTV.
It's pretty clear that this event will prompt a keener interest being taken in dumping or stealing anything outside a charity shop, so anyone would be mad to ignore the obvious warnings. More to the point, At least 2 KT4 charity shops are OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK, SO THERE IS NO EXCUSE.

Guest no.2 said...

Indeed, both Debra and the Heart Foundation charity shops are open 7 days-a-week, which means there's at least one accessible to everyone, without them even having to cross the high street!
There is absolutely no excuse for fly-tipping outside a charity shop, and especially not in Worcester Park!

Nichu said...

Marie Curie is also open on Sundays. I think it's courteous to make the effort to take the goods in when the shops are open. When I have taken things to Worcester Park charity shops they have always been very grateful. If I need to drop stuff off out of hours I use the clothing bin near the library. I feel sorry for the volunteers who have to wade through heaps of clothes and furniture when they arrive to open the shop.

Whilst the people in the article above committed a crime, I do think that donors should take some responsibility and not just dump things assuming that someone else will deal with it.

Barry Cullum said...

Whew! I'm beginning to think some people are picking holes and being technical in this for a wind up!!
Ok, ok... under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it IS fly-tipping.
So.......anyone who, out of the goodness of their heart, takes the trouble to take a few bags of items they no longer have a use for to a charity shop. Place them outside the door, where the obvious intention is , unless your completely dumb, perfectly clear.... That they are being given to that shop, whose property it now becomes.....
OK, they are guilty of fly-tipping. They've made an abominable mess of the high street.... string 'em up... That should please the technical brigade!

Then, of course, we should now laud and praise those selfless citizens who take it upon themselves to trawl the high streets at 3am in the morning in their vans clearing up this disgraceful mess, thus saving the local council many thousands.... Hey! And as an added bonus, these proud upstanding entrepreneurs can be rewarded with a healthy tax-free bonus by actually selling all this mess they've cleared up.

Oh, how those charity shops must hate finding all this stuff in bags blocking up their doorway in the morning.... Now, dammit, they'll have stock to put on the shelves to make money for their chosen charity... Much better to find a cherry picked mess all over the pavement worth sweet-nothing. Those pesky fly tippers at it again!

Oh, come on you lot... It's been a tradition for years for donations to be left outside charity shops, and beneath contempt to steal them for gain, or otherwise.
Yes, I know theft of this type has been on the increase of late.... they'll always be some scumbag to take advantage of someone else's generosity. I do live in the real world. But that doesn't disguise the fact that it is still theft.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's got another name for it......

guest said...

Of course being nabbed for fly tipping can have it's useful effects! google '"Alice's Restaurant Massacree"' for details.

Barry Cullum said...

hahahaha... love it. I saw the film years ago... Nice one guest! :o)

Notablogger said...

I condemn anybody who takes things from outside charity shops. All theft is despicable, but those who steal from charities are the lowest of the low. Sadly this is not uncommon - I have seen many people rooting through bags outside Worcester Park's charity shops and making off with whatever takes their fancy.

However, I equally condemn those who dump goods outside charity shops. Much of it is junk, and is left there by people who know it is junk and can't be bothered to take it to the local tip. Somehow they feel that because they are leaving it outside a charity shop this does not count as fly tipping.

These people also do not consider that it cost the charities money to have rubbish 'donations' taken away.

So those who dump tat outside charity shops are costing hard-pressed charities a lot of money.

They, surely, are only one step removed from those who busy themselves stealing from charity shops.

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