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Police launch probe after Liverpool cafe serving homeless people for free hit with third break-in in two weeks

Merseyside Police has appealed for information after Paper Cup Coffee was raided for a third time just days after the owner warned the cafe ‘may only have months of trading left’

Paper Cup Coffee Liverpool

There is doubt over the future of Paper Cup Coffee follow three break-ins in a fortnight. Image Paper Cup Coffee

Police have launched an investigation after a café in Liverpool that encourages customers to give people experiencing homelessness free food and drink was hit with a third break-in in just two weeks.

Paper Cup Coffee in Liverpool city centre was targeted on March 21 and April 2 with intruders smashing the glass in the front door window and taking staff tips and petty cash from the till.

Merseyside Police have launched an appeal for information following a further break-in during the early hours of the morning on April 6.

“To break into a local café is completely reprehensible, particularly one that helps to support the homeless and rough sleepers,” inspector of community policing Jack Woodward.

“We’re determined to find the person or persons responsible and bring them to justice.

“Burglaries from cafes, or any type of business for that matter, are not victimless crimes as they have a huge impact on the community in many ways. If you have any information to help find those responsible, please get in touch.”

The cafe was closed on Thursday for repairs to the window and damage done to the inside of the premises.

Michelle Langan, the owner of Paper Cup Coffee, previously told The Big Issue that they may be forced to close down for good following the break-ins.

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“At first I was upset but now it makes me feel angry because the whole purpose of our shop is for all profits to go back to supporting people who are homeless,” said Langan.

“So inevitably the results of these actions are the people that lose out are the people who are homeless. That’s what makes me angry about it.”

She added: “It’s not even just the cash, it’s the emotional toll it takes on us. We had one of the homeless ladies who comes in every day crying her eyes out on Monday because she was so upset that someone would target a place where she feels safe and she enjoys coming to.”

Paper Cup Coffee Liverpool
Glass has been smashed in all three break-ins at Paper Cup Coffee over the last two weeks. Image: Paper Cup Coffee

Paper Cup Coffee opened its doors in Liverpool last year to offer a safe space for people who are homeless to seek shelter and get free food and drink. Less-fortunate customers are invited to pay it forward to cover the costs.

The café also aims to provide hospitality training and work experience for people who are experiencing homelessness or are unemployed.

The idea has even caught the attention of Charlatans star Tim Burgess, who visited the cafe last December to work a shift after it “struck a chord” with him when he spotted it on Twitter.

Paper Cup Coffee opened last year in Liverpool to give homeless people free food and attracted Tim Burgess
The idea attracted Charlatans singer Tim Burgess (centre right) to work a shift at Michelle Langan’s (centre) cafe. Image: Paper Cup Coffee

The charity that runs the shop, the Paper Cup Project, is now fundraising to raise money to beef up security with shutters and CCTV. Donations can be made here.

If anyone has any information they are asked to contact Merseyside Police’s social media desk @MerPolCC on Twitter or Merseyside Police Contact Centre on Facebook with reference 23000277672.

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