Francis Maude says government will take 'robust action' on bogus charity collectors

Cabinet Office minister says stealing from charities is repulsive and the law will be toughened

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude

The government wants to toughen the law on bogus charity collectors when the Charities Act is reviewed, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has told the Commons.

Responding to a question on fraudulent charity collections yesterday, Maude said: "Stealing from charities is a repulsive crime, but a growing problem. We're determined to take robust action."

Maude confirmed that the government would initiate a review of the Charities Act before the end of the year, as it is legally required to do, and said a review of the law affecting charity bag collections would form part of it.

"The laws are very outdated; they date from many years back, from a different world," he said. "They aren't that effective at preventing fraudulent collections, but can be very burdensome on legitimate charities.

"We want to reverse that, to have it easier for legitimate charities, but be more effective at controlling the fraudulent collections."

Other subjects the government is required to look at as part of the review of the act include volunteering levels, public confidence in charities, the level of public donations and the future of the Charity Commission.

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