A call for the police to be made more aware of charity collection bag theft was among the issues raised at a high-level meeting to discuss how to tackle the problem.
Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, and Detective Superintendent Steve Head, head of the economic crime directorate of the City of London Police, met a group of charities and umbrella bodies yesterday to talk about how to tackle the growing problem of bogus charity collectors.
Representatives from the British Heart Foundation and Oxfam were also there, as well as Amanda McLean, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, and David Moir, head of policy at the Charity Retail Association, which represents charities that run shops.
A statement from the BHF said the meeting was a "milestone for the BHF, which believes this is a major step towards combating the issue".
The charity said it had told the meeting that urgent action was needed to raise awareness among police that taking goods from doorsteps constituted theft, because they remain the property of the owners until the intended charity had collected them.
A BHF spokeswoman said the meeting was an opportunity to raise the issue with high-profile people.
"It was great to get the relevant people together to raise this serious issue for charities," she said.