Honesty no longer the best policy after thieves invade tight little island

The island of Canna in the Inner Hebrides, which has been hit by its first crime in decades
The island of Canna in the Inner Hebrides, which has been hit by its first crime in decades
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A TINY Scottish island has been hit by its first crime in decades after thieves raided its only shop.

The community shop in Canna, in the Inner Hebrides, has been run on an “honesty basis” for four years, with customers noting down the groceries and items they take in a book and leaving the money in a box.

Run by volunteers, it is regularly left open overnight to allow fishermen who dock at the island’s pier to stock up on provisions at any time, but the community group which runs the shop said that will now have to change after the theft on Friday night.

When staff checked on the store on Saturday and found the shelves had been emptied of sweets, biscuits, coffee, toiletries, batteries and six hand-knitted wool hats which had been on display.

Roughly four miles long and a mile wide, Canna has a population of about 20 people, and the last crime on the island was reportedly the theft of a carved wooden plate from a church in the 1960s.

Coun Bill Clark, who has represented the area for 13 years, said: “It’s quite unbelievable, it’s something you don’t hear about at all in the Inner Isles. I would think this is the first crime in years - I don’t know for sure but I certainly haven’t heard of any crime there in my time. I doubt very much if anyone even locks their doors there.”

The National Trust for Scotland, which owns the island, said: “Thankfully, incidents like this are extremely rare and Canna is a very safe place.”