Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Peace Hospice has seen a dramatic rise in the number of thefts from its shops this year.

The Peace Hospice has seen a dramatic rise in the number of thefts from its shops this year.

The charity, which has 12 shops located across South West Hertfordshire, has increasingly had to contend with the theft of donations left outside its shops by Hospice supporters.

Hospice Head of Trading, Carol Kerrey said ‘We know that organised criminals are operating regularly in our area, stealing bags from outside our shops. We’ve never known it to be so bad, it’s happening at least two or three times each week and this comes at a time when donated goods to our shops have already dropped by 30% over the year.’

She added ‘We’ve also experienced an increase in the number of people shop lifting our goods and only last weekend we also had a break-in at one of our Watford shop’s which has cost us over £2,000 in theft and damages.’

The Peace Hospice, based in Watford cares for people living with a life limiting illness and supports their families from across South West Hertfordshire. It provides inpatient care, a day service, a hospice at home service as well as bereavement support.

Hospice Chief Executive Sue Plummer said ‘We rely on our shops to provide more than a third of the income we need each year to keep our services running. We have been able to help around 1,500 people this year at the time when they have needed us the most. The current economic climate makes it tough enough as it is without having to contend with crime on this scale.’

She added ‘I would encourage people to try and donate their goods during shop opening hours if possible. I would also ask people to consider donating any unwanted Christmas presents to one our Peace Hospice shops. It’s a great way to support our work caring for people with a life limiting illness.’

For more information on the work of the Peace Hospice or to make a donation to the Hospice’s Christmas Appeal, click here