That's why bums rob at Iceland
A man who took some bits and bobs from the bins out the back of Iceland, is to appear before magistrates after being charged under a squint-and-you’ll-miss-it section of the 1824 Vagrancy Act.
1824? That’s moved with the times then, eh.
According to the Guardian, it is expected Paul May, a freelance web designer, will argue that he was taking the food because he needed it to eat and does not consider he has done anything illegal or dishonest in removing food destined for landfill from a skip.
This could be a breakthrough of sorts, allowing fusty old magistrates to get their heads around the modern practice of ‘skipping’ (ie: taking food from bins to re-use), and could also highlight exactly how much waste is being pumped into landfills daily.
May, 35, along with Jason Chan and William James, all residents of a squat in north London, were arrested on 25 October, just before midnight, after a member of the public called the police to report three men climbing over a wall at the back of Iceland in Kentish Town.
Police then arrested the three men as they fled the scene, and confiscated items up to the value of £33. Now, we’re talking here about the bins round the back of an Iceland. You could probably feed a family for a fortnight with that.
Police returned the items to the Iceland store, who then – because of Health & Safety and that – probably threw them back into the bins.
Lawyers for the three men have asked the Crown Prosecution Service to consider dropping the case, but the CPS responded this month that the case would go ahead, because "we feel there is significant public interest in prosecuting these three individuals".
So if anyone would care to explain this significant public interest, then we’re all ears.