Street fundraiser cleared after being arrested for collecting money without a licence

Lawyer says Tony Greenstein's acquittal highlights the need for clearer laws

A man has been acquitted for collecting money for a charity without a licence in Brighton, in a case that has highlighted confusion over street fundraising licensing.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said Tony Greenstein was arrested in January 2009 for collecting for the Brighton & Hove Palestinian Solidarity Campaign without a licence. Police said he was using a static collection tin on a stall in a public area.

But Greenstein was cleared of any wrongdoing at a hearing at Brighton Magistrates Court earlier this month.

Since Greenstein's acquittal, Brighton & Hove City Council has confirmed that it was taking legal advice.

The Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1916 allows local authorities to regulate street fundraising as they see fit.

Nicola Evans, senior associate at law firm Bircham Dyson Bell, said the case showed the need for clearer laws governing street fundraising.

"This case exemplifies the difficulties there are at the moment for both fundraisers and local authorities when it comes to enforcing this area of the law," she said.

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