Clothes banks being raided by criminals, charities losing money

We all know that charities are constantly appealing to everyone to donate money and items that can raise money so that they can continue to support the poor in the UK and abroad. In recent years cash donations have reduced but donations such as clothes have increased. As many people shop at low budget retailers such as George (Asda), Primark and other supermarket clothing brands they are more likely to give away their ‘throwaway fashion’ clothing in the hope of staying up to date with all the latest fashion trends.

This has been a very good way of raising money for charities up until now, teenage criminals have now found clothes banks as a new target to fund their lifestyle and ‘steal from the poor’. Although many areas have a regular appeal for clothes through charities supplying a big bag for people to fill up and leave on the doorstep there is a higher risk of stealing by donating this way. This is why clothes banks were set up as a secure way for people to donate clothes by pushing it through a big letterbox in a container that is secured by a padlock and emptied regularly.

Younger criminals have now found that if they have a friend that is slim enough they can fit through the small opening and steal the clothes by pushing it out the slot. Of course they are not making huge sums of money as most of the clothes are sold on eBay, car boot sales and even the market stalls but charities are losing millions by this every year.

There are thousands of clothes banks all over the UK with most of the items being re-sold in charity shops or given away to the homeless both here and sent to Third World countries. A small percentage is also recycled and turned into other wearable items. Those who are targeting clothes banks are also risking their life as there have been a few deaths by people falling in and suffocating; others have also gotten stuck as the opening is very small and hard to get out of without any help from the inside.

Thieves who are targeting clothes are also very brazen as one group were caught during daylight hours in a council owned car park that had cameras to capture all. Once a gang find a good clothes bank they are most likely to keep returning again and again. The best thing to do is to bag up the clothes you want to donate and personally hand it over to a charity shop, don’t leave it outside but go in and donate it properly. At least then you know you have handed it in personally to a shop assistant who will then sort it and put them out for re-selling.