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Cornwall's Poverty Crime is Revealed

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7:59am 11th April 2014

Pirate FM has learnt that Cornish families are stealing basic stuff like nappies because they cannot afford to make ends meet.

Foodbanks in Cornwall say police are reporting a rise in essentials being taken.

Don Gardner from the Camborne Pool and Redruth centre said: "I had a lady who came in and hadn't had any sanitary wear or toilet rolls for six months and when it affects your personal hygiene and the cleanliness you're losing your self-respect. If you lose your own personal hygiene your house then suffers and then you lose the will to survive."

David Berry from the Liskeard and Looe centre is blaming poverty: "Predominantly the cost of living. Running costs of households has gone through the roof, people's salaries - wages have gone down, and the government having to restrict benefits to a great extent; all the families who are being referred to us are really, really struggling."

Latest crime figures show a 12% jump in shoplifting across the Duchy and Devon but police have told Pirate FM that the rise could be down to other factors as well.

Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly said: "It's not possible to be categoric and say that this rise is people moving towards having to steal things in order to eat. People who have committed other crimes in the past have changed their criminal behaviour to start shoplifting and are taking commodities which are then easy for them to re-sell.

"We are seeing some evidence that that's not really the picture. We're actually seeing commodities being stolen which are easy for re-sale and trying our best to better understand the problem in order that we can work with the retailers to try and reduce or prevent that from occurring."

7:59am 11th April 2014

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