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Chuggers to get their marching orders

Chuggers to get their marching orders

🕔06.Nov 2012

Charity street collectors may be banned from Birmingham’s main shopping area under radical plans being considered by the city council.

Scores of enthusiastic young people regularly patrol New Street and the surrounding an attempt to persuade passers-by to make regular direct debit payments to various charities.

But most people think the approach is too enthusiastic and have had enough of the “in your face” tactics according to Birmingham’s Licensing Committee chairman.

Barbara Dring has asked local authority lawyers to find a way of banning the so-called chuggers – charity muggers – from Birmingham city centre and from Sutton Coldfield. A report setting out the practicalities of a ban is likely to be considered by the council cabinet later this month.

She believes that hard-sell tactics employed by the chuggers are harming the city’s reputation as a major retail centre with the result that some people are no longer prepared to visit the shops.

Coun Dring (Lab Oscott) said research conducted by the council found overwhelming public opposition to the activities of chuggers. Some 95 per cent of respondents said they didn’t like being stopped by the collectors, while 83 per cent confessed to being put off coming into the city centre.

She wants the council to introduce a bylaw to make it illegal for chuggers to patrol the streets.

Coun Dring said: “People are fed up walking through the city centre and being approached by these people in their face. There are a lot of complaints.”

Earlier this year Burnley in Lancashire became one of the first places to take action against Chuggers by banning them from the city centre for five days out of seven. Blackburn, Preston and Chorley instituted similar bans.

New regulations introduced by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association this month seek to control the conduct of chuggers across the country.

Chuggers can no longer follow a person for more than three steps, or stand within three metres of a shop doorway, cash machine, pedestrian crossing or tube station entrance.

They also are banned from signing up any charity donations from people who are drunk or unable to understand what they are doing.


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