New rules will result in charities being fined upwards of £1,000 if their staff harass members of the public.
Following a year long trial, The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) will enforce the new chugger rules, which impose a number of restrictions on how street-side charity workers can operate. The restrictions will prevent charity workers from:
- following a person for more than three steps
- standing within three metres of a shop doorway, cashpoints, pedestrian crossing or station entrance
- signing up anyone who is unable to give informed consent, due to illness, disability, drink or drug use
- approaching anyone who is working, such as newspaper vendors
£1,000-plus chugger fines
Charities will be given a 1,000 penalty point limit, which is reset annually. Breaching any of the rules will result in up to 100 penalty points being levied on the charities. Once the 1,000 limit has been reached the charities will be charged on a £1 per point basis. Money raised through fines will be used to facilitate and improve compliance checks.
The PFRA’s chief executive Sally de la Bedoyere said: ‘For a form of fundraising that is so regularly in the limelight, it is vitally important that fund raisers work to the highest possible standards in order to maintain the confidence of the public, media, and central and local government.’
How to complain about chuggers
Consumers who feel that a chugger is abusing the PFRA’s rules, perhaps by using aggressive tactics, should complain to the charity in the first instance. If they are unsatisfied with the charity’s response they can take the matter to the Fundraising Standards Board, which oversees this sector.
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