Nick Hurd promises round-table discussion on bogus charity collectors

Minister for Civil Society responds to Commons debate initiated by Tory MP Tracey Crouch on "nationwide organised crime"

Nick Hurd
Nick Hurd

Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, has pledged to hold a round-table debate to discuss how bogus charity bag collectors can be best tackled.

The suggestion came yesterday during a parliamentary debate about the issue that was initiated by Tracey Crouch, the Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford.

During the debate, Crouch called for better a regulatory system, tougher enforcement, and stronger police action. She wanted charities to work together on an improved code of conduct so that the public could feel more confident about making clothing donations.

She described as "laughable" the existing level of deterrence.

"Bogus collection has grown from a small-time deception to a nationwide organised crime, costing charities millions of pounds in lost revenue," she said. "Unless the issue is taken seriously right from the top, the scam will continue."

Hurd did not say who he would invite to the discussion but said he would invite people who were "actively engaged in trying to reach a solution". He also asked Crouch to attend.

Hurd said he would also write to the Association of Chief Police Officers, asking it to look at its guidance, and to the Ministry of Justice, asking it to review the punishments for bogus collectors.

Amanda McLean, who will be chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising from next month, said she was encouraged that the issue was being moved forward and hoped it would help to eradicate bogus collectors.

"The issue of bogus collectors is costing charities millions of pounds and is lowering public trust and confidence in charities at a time when it was never more important for the public to be involved in the vital work performed by charities," she said.

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