Bexley: String of attacks on Hospices of Hope charity shops

Police are probing a series of vandal attacks on a chain of charity shops in London and Kent, causing tens of thousands of pounds damage.

A number of the separate attacks on Hospices of Hope stores have taken place over the last month, including the charity’s shop in Bexley, and police believe the raids may be linked.

Windows have been deliberately smashed at the charity’s shops in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, and Otford, Kent, during June.

The charity, which has been hit heavily by the Covid-19 lockdown, has also reported damage to shops in Faversham, Kent, Bexley, south east London, and Pimlico in central London.

The most recent incident last Wednesday night in Tunbridge Wells saw several front and side windows smashed.

Officers believe the damage may be linked to the previous offences at other nearby locations.

Inspector Dave Higham, of the Tunbridge Wells Community Safety Unit, said: “These offences have cost the charity around £30,000 to repair.

“We are keeping an open mind as to whether all of these incidents are linked and the possible motive and urging anyone who may have seen anything suspicious to contact us.

“We are also asking nearby businesses, some of which may have recently been closed during the Covid-10 restrictions, to check their CCTV systems.”

If you have any information which may assist the investigation call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/111918/20. You can also contact Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111 or by using the online form at crimestoppers-uk.org

Hospices of Hope raises money to provide hospice care in Eastern Europe, and was hit heavily by the coronavirus lockdown, describing its financial situation as serious prior to the string of attacks.

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