A man has been arrested in connection with a clothes collection scam that used the Down’s Syndrome Association’s brand.
The man, who works for a company called UK Textile Enterprise, was arrested last week in Warrington, Cheshire, and released on bail after questioning. Warrington and Halton Trading Standards said the man is a "cog low down" in the organisation.
The company had been using the DSA’s logo to encourage people to donate clothing, shoes, handbags and belts in door-to-door collections, without the charity’s permission.
Paul Zanon, business development director for the DSA, said the company had been operating in Staffordshire and Worcestershire and had recently been covering a wider area, including Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside.
"Over the past four months, several members of the public have been in contact complaining about the leaflets," he said.
"In the last month, when the scam started operating in Merseyside and Manchester, it has gone crazy. I was getting daily calls from the public and emails by the dozen. Some of our donors were getting really annoyed, and I have had to do a lot of repair work with them."
Last week a member of the public received a leaflet through the post and contacted the DSA. He copied Warrington Trading Standards into the email and told them that the company would be collecting clothes from his house the following morning.
After waiting outside the house on Friday morning, trading standards officers caught the man in action and he was arrested by police.
Edwina Greenwood, a trading standards officer at Warrington, said police seized other bags of clothing found in his van, some of which had the names of other charities on them. Greenwood declined to name those charities.
Zanon said that since the arrest he had not received any more complaints from the public about leaflets.
Greenwood said the trading standards office would be continuing its investigations into the company and was trying to track down the ringleader of the organisation.
To contact trading standards officers, call 08454 040 506.