Police urged to go easy on charity street fundraisers

Association of Chief Police Officers acts after reports of heavy-handed tactics

The Association of Chief Police Officers has written to police forces in England and Wales asking them to adopt a less heavy handed approach to policing street and door-to-door fundraisers.

The letter was sent after the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association received reports that face-to-face fundraisers had been questioned about their legitimacy by local policing teams – sometimes "abruptly and insensitively", the PFRA said.

The PFRA raised the issue with Acpo. Chief Constable Julie Spence, head of Acpo's Citizen Focus scheme, then sent a letter to police chiefs.

The letter, seen by Third Sector, asks chief constables throughout England and Wales to highlight the issue within their forces and "encourage a sensitive, diplomatic and proportionate approach where charity representatives need to be engaged".

It also highlights the impact poorly managed policing could have on the public's perception of face-to-face fundraisers.

Mick Aldridge, chief executive of the PFRA, said it was an important development and would have a positive impact. "I have no doubt this intervention will go a long way to ensuring a much smoother relationship with neighbourhood policing teams," he said. The letter had already received a positive response from one constabulary, he added.

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