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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 May, 2003, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
Inmates rebrand seized goods
Prisoners are rebranding illegal goods for charity
Prisoners skills are being used to rebrand counterfeit goods to make money for charity in the first scheme of its kind in Wales.

A special workshop has been set up in Usk Prison in south east Wales so that inmates can remove the fake logos from clothing, CDs and videos which have been seized by trading standards officers.

The St David's Foundation - a charity which specialises in providing palliative care - are behind the scheme and hope to sell the rebranded goods at their 12 shops in the region.

Charity worker Alan Devonald said it was an excellent way of recycling goods which had been confiscated from the black market.

"It is the first scheme of its kind in Wales and is a great way of utilising products that would otherwise have to be destroyed," he said.

"Not only are we recycling goods but we are able to make money for the charity.

It is a useful occupation for the prisoners who are very keen to be part of the project
Terry Smith, Usk Prison

"In many ways, these things are top of the range, obviously they are counterfeit but the quality of them is excellent.

By doing this we will also be able to provide a service of selling good quality clothes and goods cheaply," he added.

Six prisoners at the jail will work on the scheme under the supervision of prison officer Terry Smith.

"It is a useful occupation for the prisoners who are very keen to be part of the project," said Mr Smith.

"They are very happy to do anything that helps charity.

"There is probably going to be more stuff than we can handle and we are still looking at the best methods to work with.

"We want to be able to make the counterfeit goods sellable by taking the fake trademarks off them," he added.

Large stock

Among the trading standards offices in the region supporting the project are Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire.

Richard Prince, a senior fair trading officer at Blaenau Gwent council, said: "We have built up a very large stock of counterfeit goods which would otherwise have to be destroyed.

"The St David's Foundation asked to take the stock and recycle the goods so anything they can rebrand or relogo will be sent down to Usk Prison for the prisoners to rebrand.

"Anything that can be recycled will be, for example perfume will be thrown away and the bottles recycled, and CDs and videos will be blanked and sold on," he said.

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21 Apr 03  |  West Yorkshire

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