Those looking for roller shutters in the North West will be pleased to hear that two men have been arrested on suspicion of breaking into charity shops in Shropshire.
The arrests follow a spate of burglaries which saw three charity shops on one street in Market Drayton broken into in one night.
The arrests followed a number of break ins at charity shops in Telford, Shifnal, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Much Wenlock and over the border in Welshpool. The Sue Ryder Care shop on the street has been broken into at least six times before in the last 10 years.
Money was taken from the sites and windows smashed in.
Shropshire local policing commander Superintendent Mo Lansdale said in the Shropshire Star: “Officers have been working to piece together the information we have about these burglaries and earlier today arrested two men on suspicion of burglary.
“We know these burglaries have had a significant impact on local communities, particularly as it is charity shops that have been targeted, and local officers we will be working with the shops to help prevent further offences.”
It may be shocking to hear that charity shops are a target for burglaries, but many charity shops are warned they are often particularly vulnerable to thieves.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations suggests that all charity shops should be fitted with security equipment such as convex mirrors, burglar alarms and CCTV cameras to prevent burglaries. If there are any burglaries or even attacks, these should always be reported to the police and management in order to help any staff affected and also make police aware of the problem.
The Charity Retail Association also suggests making sure that there is good lighting and security staff if at all possible.
While burglaries are a big problem for charity shops, so is shop lifting.
The charity retail association suggests that charity shops should avoid the following in order to minimise shop lifting.
Shops with high shelving that obscures the shopkeepers’ view
Keep the shelving low so you can keep an eye on people. You also need to avoid blind spots, and certainly don’t put high value items in them.
High value products within close proximity to entrances and exits
While many charity shops put a lot of time and effort into their window displays, it is important to design these so it is difficult to steal from them. Small, high value items like jewellery and shoes should be put further back from the doors.
Include security barriers or tags
Charity shops should consider investing in security barriers or tags in order to firstly make high value items less attractive, and secondly in order to be able to spot shoplifters if they do attempt to steal.
Of course it isn’t just shop lifters who pose a threat, staff may too. In order to reduce this you should establish procedures to reduce internal theft. Examples include bag searches, strict controls on staff purchase concessions and the registration of valuable items.