New report slams street ‘chuggers’

A report has condemned ‘chugging’ – seen on high streets across the county – as “the worst and most damaging form of charity fundraising”.

Charity Aid asked every council in the country about chugging and the responses revealed that many authorities regard chugging as “aggressive harassment” of the public.

Chugging – short for charity mugging – is the practice by paid professionals of stopping people in the street to ask for charity donations.

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Peter Quinn, chairman of Charity Aid, said: “Chuggers now siphon off more than the first £100 of a donor’s money – without telling them this.

“These parasites now take over £100m a year from donations which were intended for charity. They’ve brought words like intimidation and hard sell into what used to be a noble calling.”

Charity Aid sent out the survey to all of the councils in England in June. But none of the councils in Derbyshire except for Derby City Council responded.

On social media, Derbyshire Times readers vented their annoyance at chuggers.

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Beckie Newton said: “I do donate to charity but on my terms. If someone stops me in the street or knocked on my door, they wouldn’t get a donation from me.”

Councillor Chris Ludlow, Chesterfield Borough Council’s executive member for environment, said: “Although the law requires anyone collecting charity donations in the borough to apply for permission from our licensing team, this does not apply to people who are asking for direct debits for charity, known as chugging.

“As a good will gesture, we ask anyone asking for direct debits for charity to give our licensing team a courtesy telephone call as soon as possible before their collection to ensure that they do not interfere with the licensed collections booked into the council’s annual programme that may be happening at the same time,” she added.