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Thieves steal food from Bath Foodbank

By Paulwiltshire  |  Posted: April 02, 2014

Comments (36) Food has been stolen from a charity which has helped more than 7,000 people battling to make ends meet in Bath.Thieves broke into the Bath Foodbank’s warehouse at Bathampton on Thursday night, taking food and toiletries donated to the charity.The initiative - run locally by the Genesis Trust - is part of a national network of foodbanks which are acting as a safety net for people hit by welfare reforms, redundancy and debt.It aims to keep people going for the next three days with emergency food parcels.Bath Foodbank chairman David Purdon said the thieves had stolen an electronic weighing machine worth around £60, items of food and all the supplies of soap, shampoo and toilet rolls.They also left behind a lot of mess in the warehouse.He said: “It is very disappointing for all the volunteers who freely give their time to Bath Foodbank to find that we have been broken into.“We rely on the generosity of the people of Bath to provide donations of food and other items, and it is sad to think that some people would steal from us. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Bath who continue to support us and always give so generously.”Mr Purdon said the charity did not publicise the location of its warehouse, which is made up of four shipping containers, so it was not clear if the culprits knew what they were stealing.He said offers of help were already flooding in and if people wanted to replenish the stocks then they could donate at various points across the city.These are the Morrisons in London Road, St Michael’s Cafe opposite Waitrose, Sainsbury’s at Green Park, and Manvers St Cafe. There will also be an all-day collection at Sainsbury’s in Odd Down on Saturday, April 12.Since the Bath Foodbank launched in September 2011 it has provided more than 7,000 people, including 2,000 children, with emergency food to see them through short-term crisis.Bath police have confirmed they are investigating the theft and have increased foot patrols in the area.To find out more, go to http://bath.foodbank.org.uk.

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  • disabledby  |  April 04 2014, 2:34PM

    Badrobot1 is right to highlight the need for decent wages. At present many companies are being subsidised by the taxpayers and many of those in receipt of benefits are in fact in work legitimately. Those with zero hour contracts can find themselves with no income at all at short notice and a huge wait for any benefit income because of changes to the system which have gummed it up. My son has bank work, so will receive no pay for sick leave. He is disabled and we already have a nightmare situation in which he will have to claim Employment and Support Allowance again, should no work be available, with yet more delays in assessments being completed, even though his disabilities are lifelong and will not improve. His disabilities mean that applying for Jobseeker's allowance is not appropriate as he can only manage limited types of work in certain environments. I have already had to subsidise him from my pension for ten months, because his previous claim has not yet been assessed. I may yet need to visit the foodbank myself. I used to deal with benefit fraudsters. The law already exists to deal with fraudsters, whose cases are highlighted in the media. Unfortunately the press has not given the same coverage to the enormous problems being caused to disabled people by the changes in the system. My son needs his Personal Independence Payment to be able to cover his additional support needs, and this should have bbeen assessed much more quickly than it has been, as he applied last October and lots of relevant specialist reports were made available. The Work Capability Assessments are not fit for purpose, nor are the forms accessible or relevant for many conditions and especially for those with mental health or Autistic Spectrum issues. Should fraudsters go to Court, then money is recovered from property or possessions or deducted from earnings or benefits until it has been repaid, as well as other penalties being exacted. The Government has been taken to task for whipping up a media frenzy over the alleged frauds, using very dodgy statistics-x no of claims dropped etc-as though this meant that the claims must have been fraudulent, when in fact, people who were claiming when ill for a time-limited period were returning to work, and thus stopped claiming quite legitimately. I fear that this smearing of claimants was to defelct attention from the real purpose of the changes which was to deny a greater number of disabled people access to benefits and to turn public opinion against them, thus putting the Government in a positive light . Disabled people have re[ported a greater incidence of hate crime and abuse towards them , when the Government has put the burden of economic recovery unfairly on disabled people, who have borne the brunt of these cuts.

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  • Badrobot1  |  April 03 2014, 2:28PM

    Sorry Cyril, your question you have been posing to everyone "how do you suggest we investigate and identify the fraudsters in the benefit system?" And your answer to the question is do a "review". Oh sorry, a "root and branch review"! A review will neither identify nor investigate fraudsters. In fact, your hugely expensive "review" would almost certainly find that the system needed a few small changes and very little would change. Take your example, the "agrophobic woman from frome". Now according to papers she said at her atos appointment that she was unable to leave the house due to severe anxiety but was allegedly travelling the world. What could be done about this sort of case? (assuming that she is lying). You could investigate EVERYONE claiming ESA or PIP to check their stories but that would cost a lot more than is lost in benefits fraud. You could treat all stated ailments as if they are fake and deny most people especially people with mental disorders that you can't see (actually we tried this one recently and it was a massive failure and the large large majority of people were winning their claim on appeal). I don't honestly see what more can be done.

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  • Badrobot1  |  April 03 2014, 2:27PM

    The answer to this is to make it worth working by increasing wages not to make it "fair" by cutting benefits.

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  • CyrilCringe  |  April 03 2014, 9:20AM

    MoeXXX how do you suggest we investigate and identify the fraudsters in the benefit system? Before anyone suggest that we do it as we always have, that hasn't worked for decades due to the numbers of claimants and claims being processed and paid. that why it has become necessary to do a root and branch review. Almost a case of going back to the beginning. It's an enormous task and neglected for decades.

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  • CyrilCringe  |  April 03 2014, 9:16AM

    RobOldfield I used to work in the DWP in Bath. You don't have to receive benefits to recognise fraud when you see it. What's your experience of living under the current benefit system?

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  • CyrilCringe  |  April 03 2014, 8:56AM

    The poorest in society MoeXXX are seen increasingly to get more in benefits than those working to support their families at the lower end of the wage chain. Who is poorer the family on £30,000 pa benefits or e family on less than that from working? It seems more and more working class people are waking up to that fact and I would suggest there is something seriously wrong when workers earn less than benefit claimants. The word poorest in society is grossly over-used when suggesting that benefit claimants are the poorest. Tell that to the guy working all hours and often his wife on alternative shifts to support their family by working. As for "merest possibility of benefit fraud" MoeXXX? Do you really think there is only the merest possibility ? Words fail me. There is a lot of fraud out there not the merest possibility and you know it. As for accepting he staus quo and doing nothing......it it costing this country millions of pounds in fraud every year and Disability Benefits are no different, if anything, at the lower end of disability, there are ailments and condition that are difficult to disprove and clearly, from resulting publicity when caught, easily feigned conditions that rake in tens of thousands of pounds in fraudulent claims. MoeXXX I suggest you take you head out of the sand and see the real world, warts and all. There is only one real way of dealing with fraud is to start scrutinising claims and claimants closer than has been done for decades. Reassessment is part of the process and reassessment must be part of that process in order to identify the genuine from the bogus. Many of the bogus are identified to the authorities by neighbours and associates. So there is a growing awareness of the need to 'out' these fraudsters. Millions of pounds are being wasted on these people which could be used on the genuine so why the resistence? Too hard to do? That's why it's taken so long to grip and is way too long overdue.

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  • MoeXXX  |  April 02 2014, 11:27PM

    @Cyril, since benefit fraud is already illegal, shouldn't we just let the law sort it out? Do we really need to reduce benefits across the board just to remove the merest possibility of benefit fraud? No-one would suggest banning cars just to cut car crime, or eliminating tax to combat tax fraud, so why the relentless attacks on benefits claimants? Is it perhaps because they are - by definition - the poorest in society and wield no influence?

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  • RobOldfield  |  April 02 2014, 11:06PM

    Cyril. Your experience of living under the current benefit system is what?

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  • Margenpie  |  April 02 2014, 10:36PM

    @CyrilCringe "So what is you answer to the problem of fraudulent claimants and dishonesty in the benefits system???" - - - Some people clearly believe that inflicting great hardship on people who have done nothing wrong is a price worth paying to reduce the chance of fraud. Other people believe a bit of fraud is a price worth paying to make sure that society takes care of its members in need. - - - I think if you could come up with an idea to make sure everyone who deserved support received it and nobody got anything they didn't deserve, you'd have unanimous support. Nobody seems to have come up with that idea yet, so we're stuck with a choice between punishing the innocent and rewarding the dishonest. When that choice becomes a political issue is when a political party tries to square the circle by implying that everyone on benefits is potentially on the fiddle.

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  • CyrilCringe  |  April 02 2014, 9:25PM

    There was a case on the news this evening of a woman claiming Disability Benefit for being unable to go outdoors due to her condition. She was holding down three jobs outside the UK. Fraud. So what is you answer to the problem of fraudulent claimants and dishonesty in the benefits system???

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