Breadcrumbs

Bogus collections blamed for big fall in stock received by charity shops

By Jenna Pudelek, Third Sector Online, 1 November 2012

Doorstep collection bags

Doorstep collection bags

Charity Retail Association research indicates that fraudsters cost charities £50m a year

The amount of stock received by charity shops from doorstep collections has dropped by more than half since 2008, according to figures from the Charity Retail Association.

The CRA has blamed the fall on the rise in the number of bogus collections, which is estimated to cost charities £50m a year.

Research published today by the association found that 18 per cent of stock donated to charity shops came from doorstep collections in 2011/12, compared with 52 per cent five years ago.

The figure for last year was down from 24 per cent in 2010/11, 27 per cent in 2009/10 and 40 per cent in 2008/09.

In a statement, the British Heart Foundation said it had reported 241 incidents of theft of donation bags from doorsteps in 2011/12, but added that it believed it was just "the tip of the iceberg".

Louise Harbour, who manages 14 British Heart Foundation shops in London and the south east, added: "At times, we’ve seen whole areas being targeted by bogus collectors who follow our vans on their collection routes and steal donations residents leave on their doorstep for us."

Some bogus collectors are known to work in organised criminal gangs, which sell the clothing abroad for profit. CRA research has found that the same gangs are also involved in other serious crime including trafficking, violent crime and fraud.

CRA is launching a campaign ahead of the police and crime commissioner elections on 15 November, which is calling on candidates to pledge to tackle bogus collections.

Warren Alexander, chief executive of CRA, said: "House to house donations to charity shops are at an all-time low. There is more than one reason for this, including more competition from businesses which sell clothing for profit. But the increase in bogus collections is one of the key factors.

"As only one in seven of people making donations actually check on the bag to see it's from a genuine charity, it's no surprise that these gangs are taking advantage of the generosity of households."

Related Articles

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Additional Information

Latest jobs Jobs web feed


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events

90 per cent funded training for third sector: Collaborative Leadership Programme

  • Date: Thu 13 Mar 2014 - Fri 16 May 2014
  • Venue: Leeds

Lies, damned lies, and statistics: what should you really be measuring?

  • Date: Wed 23 Apr 2014 - Wed 23 Apr 2014
  • Venue: Westminster

People power

  • Date: Wed 30 Apr 2014 - Wed 30 Apr 2014
  • Venue: London

Third Sector Insight