Charity Workers – “Chuggers” – Tottenham Court Road

Backdated from previous BA website

We have received a number of complaints concerning the more ‘forceful’ methods used by charity workers in Tottenham Court Road over the past few months and asked one of our local Councillors to explain to licensing procedure. It makes interesting reading! Is this subject something you would like the BA to follow up on? The response follows:

Subject: RE: Charity workers Tottenham Court Road

I have made enquiries and it seems that the current situation is that the police are responsible for licensing charity collections using powers derived from the the “Police, Factories etc.(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916”.

Charity collections can be licenced by the borough using powers derived from the “Charitable Collections Order 1974 made pusuant to Section 5 of the Police, Factories etc. (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916, as amended by Section 251 and schedule 29 of the Local Government Act
1972.”

It does not seem that Camden has obtained the necessary order to take up this power.

It is also a little unclear as to whether these powers apply to “chugging” as the chuggers  are not actually collecting cash but are in practice seeking signatures.When the original act was passed I am sure that standing orders / direct debits etc were not yet part of the financial scene. I have been informed that some authorities have attempted to use these powers to deal with this activity but don’t know if this has been tested in court.

It would also be possible for the police to threaten action under other powers “obstruction” or “behaviour likely to cause a breach of the
peace” etc. I would suspect that the police would be reluctant to go down this route unless the behaviour of the individuals involved was extreme.

I would suggest that if this behaviour continues to be a problem local groups could raise the matter with the local police. If you wanted to
explore issues relating the licencing I think that this would be a matter for the Consumer Protection Service.

I hope that this is useful.

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