Kingston charities receive counterfeit goods from police after crackdown on the black market


Rather than destroy the products, police have been donating them to a good cause.


By Aicha Zaa

Thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit goods have been donated to charities in Kingston, but do two wrongs make a right?

Trading Standards officers have undergone a minimum of 30 raids across the borough in the past two years, in an attempt to draw a line on the black market.

The huge crackdown has seen £37,000 worth of fake handbags, DVDs, mobile phone cases and clothing seized by Kingston Police.

The regular procedure is to destroy all of the goods, but local police have now donated the counterfeit products to His Church Charity, which specialise in helping those that are homeless and vulnerable within the community.

The manager of Princess Alice Hospice in Kingston, Janice Harmsworth, said she didn’t see a problem with the partnership.

“If it is a legitimate donation from a reliable source, we are very happy to receive and sell them as the money is being used for good,” she said.

The clothes donated are believed to have been given to those that are homeless across the Kingston borough as the winter season approaches.  

Although the goods have been put to a positive use by being given back to the community, the ethical question still arises – do two wrongs make a right?

Janet Johnstone, the manager of Oxfam on Castle Street, said that it is an unfair trade.

“People somewhere are being mistreated for counterfeit products and we do not condone or encourage this.

“I have worked within fashion for the whole of my life and I have learnt to know when items aren’t real. Brands take pride in their logo, they should not have been donated by the police”.

Counterfeit logos have been destroyed off certain clothing before they are given to those who need it most.

It has been confirmed that the pirate DVDs and fake branded smart phone cases will be recycled and reused to make products which will raise money for local charities.

Photo courtesy of ukhomeoffice, with thanks.

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