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News - 7 April 2009

PFRA recognises need for chugger enforcement

It seems that the body responsible for the regulation of on-street charity collectors has recognised that 'Chuggers' cannot be trusted to self govern through a voluntary code. It has announced the appointment of an enforcement officer.

David Lepper, Brighton Pavilion Labour and Co-operatative MP, has given a cautious welcome to the appointment by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) of an officer, Nick Henry, to maintain and improve standards of chuggers – face-to-face street fundraisers - and to respond to local council and public complaints.

David, who has campaigned in Parliament for councils to be given the job of regulating chuggers, says, "This could be a step in the right direction if the PFRA is serious about Mr Henry's role. It is said that his work could include under-cover observation. That might help to show up some of the more blatant practices of chuggers such as pavement- blocking and insults when the public say no, about which I have had complaints in the past.

"In 2007-2008 I attempted on behalf of local traders to get agreement through the PFRA on a code of practice for the chuggers in the city centre area - but there seemed a lack of understanding by the PFRA for the concerns of the public and traders.

"I'm still getting complaints from the city centre about chuggers although I believe the presence of Business Improvement District staff in parts of the city centre has made a difference. I hope there will be an improvement but it must be remembered that the PFRA is a charity-based industry rather than an independent organisation."

David Lepper is a life member of the Association of Town Centre Management and chaired the steering group for the country's first 20 business improvement districts.

Read related items on:
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Public Fundraising Regulatory Association
Lepper, David

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