Lifeline in West High Street, Coffs Harbour.
Lifeline in West High Street, Coffs Harbour. TREVOR VEALE

Enough is enough: charity resorts to high security

ONE charity organisation has had to resort to security cameras to protect volunteers and valuable donations - and to prevent rubbish dumping.

Much of the recent dumping has been household rubbish but as Lifeline North Coast CEO Allister Donald points out, there are "many good people" with valuable items to donate.

Fed up with items being stolen from their Toormina store in particular they installed security cameras in the lead up to Christmas.

"Enough is enough. We need to protect the valuable items of the good people donating them. We've have a lot of items stolen with people rummaging through and breaking things.

"A lot of the items are being taken by what you might describe as 'Saturday market people' or to put on Buy Swap Sell. They are stealing money from us.

"Every item sold from our Lifeline shops goes towards the running costs of our call centre operations for the 13 11 14 crisis and suicide prevention line and theft and dumping impacts heavily on this major community service."

The cameras at the Toormina store have already been used to assist the police in arresting a thief.

Mr Donald understands that when it comes to people dumping rubbish in charity bins, this is indicative of the growing struggle to manage our waste and recycling.

"I don't knock council for doing away with their kerbside collections as the rubbish piled up on the streets creates a very bad image for the many tourists around. We have to change the whole way our waste is being managed but I'm not saying it's their job to change it either."