New code to cut down on aggressive 'chuggers'

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The Independent Online

So-called "chuggers" are seen by many as the scourge of the high street, but a new code of conduct aims to curb aggressive fundraising.

A code has been drawn up with the support of the Local Government Association (LGA) for the first time. It is designed protect the public from over-zealous fundraisers – often referred to as "chuggers" or charity muggers – with curbs on where they can set up, for how long and how many charities can walk the high street at any one time.

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) has drawn up the agreement with the LGA to improve and maintain standards of charity workers fundraising on the street. A recent LGA survey showed that three out of four councils were concerned about aggressive face-to-face fundraisers.

Their tactics have included following people down the street and pretending they've dropped something to start a conversation. The code covers issues from the location of fundraisers and the numbers of charities on the street, to clear identification of the team leaders, the times they can operate as well as monitoring by the PFRA.

Paul Stallard, the chair of the PFRA, said: "Street fundraising is a vital and cost-effective form of fundraising for those charities that rely on it.

"But we cannot deny that it is controversial."