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North London Hospice loses £80,000 to shoplifters every year
Shoplifters cost a hospice £80,000 every year in takings that could be used to care for dying people and their families.
Giuseppe Romano, who runs the North London Hospice shop in High Road, Wood Green, said thieves cost his shop alone £3,000 a year, and across the hospice's 18 shops take between £60,000 and £80,000 of goods.
The shop manager said he has seen children as young as three and pensioners in their 80s stealing.
Mr Romano said: “All the good and expensive stuff which isn’t sold in the first few days of it being out is stolen by shoplifters.
“I have spoken to other charity shops and they all have the same problem.
“People think they are stealing from just another shop but this is a charity shop and everything that is stolen from the store is stolen from the charity.”
Mr Roman is appealing for customers to let staff know if they see thieves stealing goods.
He has enlisted help from Will Davies, a crime prevention specialist from the Metropolitan Police, who offered this advice.
Mr Davies said: “A lot of the time the best way to prevent shoplifters is to simply engage with them – just say hello when they come in the store or asked them if they need any help.
“This will let them know that you’ve noticed them and they will be less likely to try anything.”
Mr Davies also made changes to the shop's layout such as moving the till to the front of the shop so staff can see people come and go.
The shop has also been made less cluttered and shop assistants have been trained to use the CCTV equipment properly.
Mr Davies added: “In a busy are like Wood Green charity shops are easy targets for most shoplifters because they don’t have the same level of security as most commercial shops.
“But simple things can go a long way and if these shops get help for the community this problem should become more manageable.”
However, Mr Davies stressed that should a shoplifter runaway staff members and the public should not chase them but call the police instead.
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