Street fundraisers known as ‘chuggers’ operating in Norwich city centre must comply with new standards or face more penalties from today.

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Under rules devised by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association fundraisers will not be able to follow a person for more than three steps or stand within 3m of a shop doorway, cashpoint, pedestrian crossing or station entrance.

Chuggers will also not be allowed to sign up to a direct debit anyone unable to give informed consent through illness, disability, or drink or drugs or approach any members of the public who are working, such as tour guides or newspaper vendors.

Further to this, fundraisers must always terminate an engagement when they are clearly and unambiguously asked, by speech or body language, to do so.

The rules, which have been on trial for a year, enhance the existing code of practice produced by the Institute of Fundraising. Fundraising organisations that transgress the rules will rack up a series of penalty points that will then be converted into a monetary fine once they reach a threshold.

The PFRA already has a joint agreement with Norwich City Council to regulate fundraising in the city centre, which has been working particularly well.

The agreement, which was signed in July 2010, allows five fundraisers to work to work in each of three separate zones: St Stephen’s Street and Gentleman’s Walk on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and London Street on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Stefan Gurney, Norwich City Centre Partnership Manager, said the new rules updated the original agreement.

He said: “It’s just a couple of extra points that have been added to it for clarification - a fine-tuning of the agreement, to make sure that common sense prevails on some of these issues, such as following people down the street.

“Since the agreement was signed in 2010 we have seen a reduction in the number of year on year complaints from members of the public about street fundraisers, although some people are still uncomfortable about the practice.”

The PFRA will monitor compliance with both the new rules and the code of practice through a mystery shopping programme, spot checks by compliance staff, and through co-regulation with city council staff and officials. The rules are compulsory for all

PFRA members and will operate nationally.

Sally de la Bedoyere, chief executive of the PFRA, said: “For a form of fundraising that is so regularly in the limelight, it is vitally important that fundraisers work to the highest possible standards in order to maintain the confidence of the public, media, and central and local government.

“The commitment made by all of our charity and agency members to conform to these new special standards is testament to the seriousness with which charities take their best practice obligations.”

Have you been the victim of an over-zealous ‘chugger’? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

27 comments

  • I don't much care about chuggers, I can ignore them. What I do rather resent is that charities do not pay full business rates on charity shops-new Heart one in GY in former Coopers premises-large secondhand-nearly new furniture and electrical shop. It might be filling a need for cheap stuff for rental land, but there are other second hand businesses in the town that must have to be paying full council tax, not quite fair.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

  • Why do some of these chuggers have a small kennel of dogs in attendance?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Also, the people that really get my goat and need legislating against are the door knockers and cold callers in person and on the phone. Plagued by charity bags stuffed in letter boxes for all to see if I am out, sick of answering the door and not knowing if it is a genuine caller or someone who has been wandering around for empty places to burgle and sick of trying to be polite! This invasion of privacy has gone too far and the trespass laws need to be changed.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

  • Don't hold your breath, the exact same story has been sent to local newspapers around the country. These rules have been 'in force' for years and this story has just been sent to every local news paper in the country. Its paying lip service is the Hodgson report in June which recommends changes and gives the greedy money grabbing agencies six months to comply. The PFRA are just sending out propaganda messages to bide them more time They'll just ignore it as they have been doing for years. Chugging has not improved in Norwich despite what it says in the article as only recently I've been harrassed by chuggers. I complained to the police and council and not heard anything back. They obviously didn't want me on their complaints statistics so they can say things have improved next year too.

    Report this comment

    Curryking

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • I call them chapists. Chuggers is too mild a term.

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    lockers

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • There seem to be more chuggers than `ordinary` people some days.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • I don't mind chatting to these people. They often have a lot of valid information and are out there to make the world a far better place than it already is. I used to do my bit for charity, until I had to retire a couple of months ago and I like that charity is out there on our streets. They follow people and step out infront of people for a reason. It's to get noticed. If they didn't then people would just walk past and carry on with their business. If you can't spend a 'chugger' just 15 minutes of your lunch hour there's something wrong. I like these people. They are not intrusive. Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

  • It is not widely appreciated that the "charity fundraisers" are not actually employed by or members of the charity concerned but are supplied by agencies. There has to be some sort of payment-by-results system in place to keep them at it, hence the irritating nature of their interventions in our enjoyment of the streets. I notice that Back of the Inns is not mentioned as one of the places where "chuggers" are permitted; I'm sure some stray into that area.

    Report this comment

    JCW

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • The picture for this article is of a peddler, not a chugger.

    Report this comment

    jbrown

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Could we just borrow Sue Barker and her bazooka from that "Go Compare" advertisement?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

  • Like cold callers they are a curse of contemporary life. If I want to buy something or contribute to a charity I am quite capable of making a personal choice. I deeply resent people who try to coerce me, however good their intentions.

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • A few months ago at the junction of London St & Opie St there must have been 20 of these professional beggars. So it was impossible to walk through the area without being within 3 feet of one of these creatures..Very unpleasant. Given the money the professional beggars are paid & the money the organisations who pimp them add on top, the so called charities who use them are clearly not interested in making the money they raise work efficiently & I thus try to not support any charity, in any way, that uses these tactics.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Don't hold your breath, the exact same story has been sent to local newspapers around the country. These rules have been 'in force' for years and this story has just been sent to every local news paper in the country. Its paying lip service is the Hodgson report in June which recommends changes and gives the greedy money grabbing agencies six months to comply. The PFRA are just sending out propaganda messages to bide them more time They'll just ignore it as they have been doing for years. Chugging has not improved in Norwich despite what it says in the article as only recently I've been harrassed by chuggers. I complained to the police and council and not heard anything back. They obviously didn't want me on their complaints statistics so they can say things have improved next year too.

    Report this comment

    Curryking

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Get shot of them completely as they are a pain in the backside.

    Report this comment

    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • These people are a pain in the rear end, pestering you for money, money for this money for that.. get rid of these people, along with cold callers at the door, if they come to my door I don't even bother getting up, as I can see who approach my door before they knock, when they stuff envelopesplastic bags through my door asking for moneyclothing etc, seconds after they hit the mat they are in the bin without a battering of an eye lid.. even cold callers on the phone don't get answered as they are filtered as well..

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Just ask them how much the charities executive board is on including expenses. Even if they do not know, tell them you are not in the habit of giving money for the executives to waste on plush offices, expenses, cars etc.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

  • Chuggers Plays Pop!

    Report this comment

    fjq11

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

  • Have a designated area for all of them. Then we can approach them. There are far too many and they have become a menace. The larger charities are large employers paying high salaries. It has become an industry. Google any large charity and see the jobs on offer. My money should go to the needy not paper shufflers who are making careers out of charitable donations.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • does this include BIG ISSUE sellers?

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • p.s. The same goes for evangelists!

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Don't hold your breath, these rules have been 'in force' for years and this story has just been sent to every local news paper in the country. Its paying lip service is the Hodgson report in June which recommends changes and gives the greedy money grabbing agencies six months to comply. Here's another identical story in the Liverpool Echo and there are many more. http:www.liverpoolecho.co.uk20120820new-rules-and-penalties-for-street-chuggers-come-into-effect-in-liverpool-city-centre-100252-31656624 They'll just ignore it as they have always been doing. Chugging has not improved in Norwich despite what it says in the article as only recently I've been harrassed by chuggers. I complained to the police and council and not heard anything back. They obviously didn't want me on their complaints statistics so they can say things have improved next year too.

    Report this comment

    Curryking

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Don't hold your breath, the exact same story has been sent to local newspapers around the country. These rules have been 'in force' for years and this story has just been sent to every local news paper in the country. Its paying lip service is the Hodgson report in June which recommends changes and gives the greedy money grabbing agencies six months to comply. The PFRA are just sending out propaganda messages to bide them more time They'll just ignore it as they have been doing for years. Chugging has not improved in Norwich despite what it says in the article as only recently I've been harrassed by chuggers. I complained to the police and council and not heard anything back. They obviously didn't want me on their complaints statistics so they can say things have improved next year too.

    Report this comment

    Curryking

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • The problem is that there are just too many charities. This needs looking into and perhaps some kind of Worthiness Index could be created. It would be quite simple, things involving children would get more points than ,say, animals and local charities would score more points than something set up to help Africa or some foreign disaster. That way people would have a way of knowing whether it's worth a quid or not and these "Oooh it's a great cause" merchants could be gotten rid of.

    Report this comment

    Valpy Word

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • One followed me for a while wittering away - I just told him to get a proper job.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • The best way to get rid of these people is to raise awareness of the fact that they get paid £50 - £120 from the receiving charity for each person they sign up. How many people sign up as an easy way to end the conversation in the knowledge that they can cancel the direct debit later? How many of these people know that by doing this, they are taking money from good causes?

    Report this comment

    AE

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • The number of Big Issue sellers is an issue too. I don't like being shouted at when walking down the street. They should have a policy that bans all street sellers from making a noise through shaking a tin, shouting or the like. I avoid Gentleman's Walk because of this. I go to Chapelfield where I know that I can shop in peace and quiet. They don't allow such activities. The rest of the city needs to follow their example.

    Report this comment

    fjq11

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Jusy Ban them completeley ! How much money does" the charity" receive after all "expenses" are taken out ?

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Monday, August 20, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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