Crackdown on bogus ‘charity’ collectors

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A COUNCIL has launched a crackdown on bogus and illegal house-to-house collectors who donate little or nothing to charity.

The number of collections has increased significantly over the past two years and there are increasing numbers of bogus collectors.

Kirklees Council officers have been refusing licences for many of the collectors, mainly because the applicants provided little information about their activities.

The aim of the new policy is to ensure residents can donate to such collections in good faith, knowing that an adequate proportion of what they give will benefit a named charity.

Anyone applying for a licence in Kirklees must provide detailed information on the charity they are collecting for, including relevant accounts and financial statements.

They must also make clear how much the charity will receive as part of the collection and a clear set of returns from previous collections.

Kirklees Council says it will refuse licence applications if financial information is vague.

A council report says: “Unless the proportion that will be donated to charity is clear and we are confident in the calculations the application should be refused.

“If the proportion allocated to the charity is clear, (council) officers must be satisfied that the amount to be given by the charity is adequate in relation to the proceeds received.

“The cost of collection needs to be taken into account and balanced against the perception of the public that all of the items or money they donate will be given to charity.”

Refusal of the application should be given serious consideration when less than 80 per cent of the value of the collection at the point of donation is being given to the charity, the council has decided.

Applications may also be refused if payments to collectors are greater than 20 per cent of the value of the collection.