We can all help counter misery caused by thieves

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Nothing, it seems, is safe any more from the thieving hands of the dregs of our society. People who have no place in decent company have pilfered charity boxes, ripped metal plaques from war memorials and now have stolen rags donated to raise money to help terminally-ill children.

Little wonder that the volunteers who man the Help 4 Special Children shop in High Street, Cosham, are beside themselves with despair after clothes were taken from a collection bin.

Charity chief executive Keith Shaw is generous enough to say he might understand a homeless person stealing a few items out of need.

But, as he rightly points out, this is no crime of desperation.

The bin at the back of the shop was secured and had to be broken into. In total, around 200lbs of clothes were taken and that would require more than one person and a vehicle in which to transport the stolen goods.

In short, as Mr Shaw says, organised crime.

Rags have a certain value, just as scrap metal does, and for some they represent the chance to make a quick stash.

No care from them for the children from whom they are stealing and no shame at the distress they have caused to the volunteers who try to help or to those who donated the goods in the first place.

Somebody, somewhere will know or suspect something.

We can only hope that anyone who does will see the need to help find those responsible.

It’s easy enough to lift a phone and call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

There is another way in which each of us can fight back against the despicable thieves who have struck without pity.

Take a trip to the Help 4 Special Children shop in the near future. Take along some unwanted clothes or other goods to donate. Or take a few pounds to buy some goods or make a cash donation to what is undoubtedly an extremely worthwhile cause.

There are plenty more good people than there are bad. Sometimes it’s particularly important for the majority to demonstrate that.