Charities losing £100 a week to mean shoplifters in Scunthorpe
Charity shop staff in Scunthorpe say shoplifters are hitting their profits by around £100 a week.
Stores on Scunthorpe High Street say between 30 and 40 items of clothing are being stolen every week because of a perception that they are a soft target.
The recession has also been blamed for the problem – which charity bosses say has soared in recent months.
Scunthorpe's Cancer Research UK, Age UK, Scope and Lindsey Lodge Hospice Charity Shop all told the Telegraph that theft had increased over the past few months.
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Ann Barton, manager at Scunthorpe's Cancer Research UK Charity Shop, said: "In the last 18 months, theft has gone up dramatically.
"We are losing around 30 garments a week in this Scunthorpe store. That probably amounts to around £90 a week."
Different charities say there could be different reasons for the unwanted trend.
Debbie Russell, manager of the Scope Charity shop said: "I expect around 30 to 40 items a week probably – amounting to around the £90/£100 mark – are being stolen."
Anne Day, manager of Lindsey Lodge Hospice charity shop, said: "I think it's partly down to the recession, but I think it's also down to the fact other high-street stores have such tight security – CCTV and expert guards – and people are avoiding those stores and sadly coming here."
All stores said there was an urgent need for volunteers, as at least two members of staff are needed at any one time to keep the crime rate down.
Katy Smith, manager of the Age UK store in Scunthorpe, said "We desperately need volunteers, so if anyone is thinking of volunteering, please do now."
Humberside Police said that there are not significant numbers of theft from charity shops reported to them in Scunthorpe.
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