New limits on chugging


- Credit: Archant

shoppers and traders have been told to ensure new limits on street fundraisers are upheld in Weston.

The method of charity collecting commonly known as ‘chugging’ - a merging of the words ‘charity’ and ‘mugging’ - has often come under criticism.

Shoppers often complain of feeling harassed or pressured by the street charity collectors, but new rules are designed to protect people from such tactics. Weston town centre manager, Steve Townsend, said he felt many shoppers were unaware of recent changes in the law.

He said: “The chuggers are an inconvenience for many shoppers so I want to make people aware that there is something they can do if they feel pestered.

“We’ve had to go out and have a word with team leaders from the charities on numerous occasions.”

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Rules set by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association mean chuggers can no longer:

l Operate within three metres of shops, cash points, pedestrian crossings or station entrances.

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l Set up direct debit contributions with those who cannot give informed consent due to illness, disability, drugs or drink.

l Cannot approach those at work such as tour guides and newspaper vendors.

l Follow a member of the public for more than three steps

The rules came into affect following a Local Government Association survey of local authorities last year suggested pushy fundraisers deterred people from shopping on the high street.

Charities whose representatives continually break the rules can face fines of up to £1,000.

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