Scottish Parliament asked to censure 'discourteous methods' of street fundraisers

Call for regulation to penalise 'significant minority' of chuggers who harass the public


A Labour MSP has lodged a parliamentary motion calling for tougher regulation of face-to-face fundraisers in Scotland.

The motion, lodged last week by George Foulkes, MSP for the Lothians, says that most street fundraisers behave courteously but a significant minority behave in a way that is "completely unacceptable".

"A number of methods employed by charity street workers, including what might be seen as harassment and blocking people’s paths, are discourteous," it says.

The motion says there is a danger that people will associate these methods with all charities, which could have a detrimental effect on charitable contributions from the public.

"Regulations are required to bring an end to what [the parliament] considers the discourteous methods employed by a significant minority of charity street workers and to protect the right of the individual to walk a street freely without harassment," the motion says.

The motion does not specify what measures are needed.

A spokesman for the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, whose remit includes Scotland, said it did not agree with the strength of language in the motion.

"Yes, there are a minority of collectors who break the rules," he said. "But I don’t think this is 'a significant minority'."

A spokesman for the Scottish government said it was developing a new scheme for regulating public charitable collections.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish parliament said other MSPs would be able to show support for the motion on the website before it was removed in six weeks’ time.


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