Charities in Finsbury Park are losing money to theft as members of the public steal from donation bags.
Thieves target donation bags left at collection points or collection bins, and are selling on the stolen goods intended for charity.
As well as losing money for charities, the thefts are preventing people from donating. Septima George, manager of a Finsbury Park charity shop, explained: “We get phone calls from donators saying they don’t want to put [donation bags] out because they know people steal.”
A spokesperson from the charity Scope described the thefts as “shocking”, and Ms George says they are a “threat” to charities. “The Council should be able to prevent it,” she continued, “when offenders are caught they should be seriously punished, but all they get is a £50 fine or a warning.”
Finsbury Park resident, Rob Ganly, saw two incidents of theft in a single week and said: “It makes me angry, but at the same time people should be a bit smarter than leaving stuff out. Maybe in Crouch End it would stay out overnight but in Finsbury Park there are a lot more down and out people.”