Poll: was the CPS right to drop charges against ‘skip-divers’?

Poll: was the CPS right to drop charges against ‘skip-divers’?
The recent news that three men were to be charged under the 190-year-old Vagrancy Act for taking food from an Iceland supermarket skip has put the subject of food waste and food want back in the spotlight.

The CPS have now dropped the charges, but many people, including Iceland’s CEO Malcolm Walker (who claims to have been unaware of the case before the media storm hit), have asked why it was brought in the first place.

Waste food: store is next to a police station. We did not call police, did not seek prosecution & I knew nothing before today’s Guardian!
— Malcolm Walker (@MalcolmCWalker) January 29, 2014

Iceland Foods statement on Prosecution for Waste Food Theft – http://t.co/Z51mv1YqFP
— Iceland Foods (@IcelandFoods) January 29, 2014

So, were Paul May, Jason Chan and William James justified in taking the food from the skip? After all, they entered secure premises and removed items (tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese and Mr Kipling cakes, reportedly) that didn’t belong to them. The Daily Mail refers to the dropping of the charges as “a licence to steal.

Or is Iceland to blame for wasting food in the first place? In its statement of 29 January, Iceland claimed that it only disposes of food that is past its use-by date because of the potential health and safety risk it could pose to the public, but some food waste seems almost inevitable.

Take part in our poll below and let us know what you think.

Was CPS right to drop charges against ‘skip-divers’?

Poll Maker

Waste not, want not

Food waste is a subject we’ve looked at before; according to a recent report by the non-profit organisation WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), consumers are responsible for almost 50 per cent of the food that’s wasted each year in the UK. We throw away seven million tonnes a year at a cost of £12.5bn.


Do you have any tips for preventing food waste? We’d love to hear them. Tell us about them using the comments box below.

And finally, what would you make with tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese to serve before your Mr Kipling cake?!

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