A small Hebridean Island, with a settled population of only around 20 people, has been forced to reconsider its open door shop and honesty box policy, as the island has had to report its first crime in potentially 7 years. The island shop, which does not usually lock its doors at night and relies on an honesty box and honesty ledger, was ransacked and sweets, chocolate bars, and other goods were taken.
Canna is the westernmost island of the Inner Hebrides and has a settled population of fewer than 20 people. Fishing is one of the most popular activities, and the small village shop that services residents of the island tends to leave its doors open at night so that fishermen can use the WiFi that is available, in order to purchase the equipment and items that they need.
The shop usually has an honesty box, where patrons can leave money for the items that they take, and a ledger where they are asked to mark the items taken. Similar honesty schemes are run in hotels and in other locations on similar islands, but Canna is especially small and the shop is typically manned by volunteers. The Island Trust has said that it may have to rethink its policies since the incident, but that the honest box policy is the only way it can feasibly provide benefit to island residents.
The island does not have a police station, but the last reported crime was back in 2008, so it would have been reasonable to assume that they didn’t really need one. The last theft is alleged to have been that of a wooden plate taken from an Island Church back in the 1960s, although records cannot confirm this because they do not date back that far.
A recent post advertising for applicants to become police officers on the Isle of Scilly went viral because it noted that applicants would have to deal with daily issues like rescuing a seal pup from the high street, but hopefully the latest crime spree on Canna won’t mean that a full time officer is deemed necessary on the island.