OXFAM Ireland has moved to reassure the public about the security of its donation banks, after an investigation revealed criminals are targeting donations of second-hand clothing.
A recent RTE 'Prime Time' probe revealed criminal gangs were preying on the public's generosity by targeting 'clothes banks' in various locations across the country.
However, the charity said it had identified the risk to donation banks from criminal activity some years ago and insisted its banks were "extremely secure" and regularly tested.
Donations to Oxfam shops are at a critically low level, having fallen by as much as 50pc in some stores. It has 243 textile and book banks across the country and they are a crucial source of funding for its emergency response work, such as the current Syria crisis.
Trevor Anderson, of Oxfam Ireland, said there was no evidence to suggest that any of their banks had been targeted by criminals. "They have been meticulously designed to ensure security," he said.