Council considers chugger crackdown

Council considers chugger crackdown

Council considers chugger crackdown

Council considers chugger crackdown

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Watford politicians are considering a crackdown on clipboard-sporting collectors who hassle members of the public in the town centre to sign up to direct debits for charities.

The borough council has drawn up stricter rules that would ban the collectors, dubbed 'chuggers' (charity muggers), to the lower end of High Street.

Officials are proposing allowing a maximum of eight chuggers to operate in between Clarendon Road and King Street.

Watford Observer:

Under the plans the collectors will be banned from using The Parade, a currently a popular hunting ground, as well as Queens Road, Beechen Grove, The Hornets and Vicarage Road.

The new rules come after complaints from residents and businesses about the unpopular practices chuggers deploy.

Watford’s elected mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, said she hoped the barring chuggers from The Parade would make it a more relaxing environment.

She said: "There has been a lot of complaints and from businesses as well. It is just not what people want to see in the High Street as they can be quite persistent and challenging sometimes.

"Obviously we don’t want to stop people giving to charity.

"We don’t want our town centre to be a place where people don’t want to come and don’t want to be as they are avoiding street drinkers and chuggers. We want it to be a place where people feel relaxed and don’t feel hassled."

The council’s Licensing Committee is due to decide on the new regulations on Tuesday. In a report to the committee officials said the council traditionally grants permits to charities to collect cash and other goods on main streets in the town.

Watford Observer:

However since 1997 charities had been increasingly using professional fundraising companies to solicit direct debit contributions from members of the public.

The method has become a popular method as it helps charities secure more regular income and it is used by large organisations such as the Red Cross, Oxfam, Greenpeace and the British Heart Foundation.

The report said it the law ambiguous about whether direct debit chuggers should be treated the same as traditional charity collectors.

As such the council said it had treated all charity collectors the same and required them to apply for the same licences.

The borough council recently conducted a consultation into the issue of chuggers, to which 22 people responded. Of those more than 90 per cent were in favour of banning chuggers from The Parade.

Watford Observer:

Among complaints made by the respondents were that their tactics were "generally more aggressive" than other collectors and they were putting shoppers off coming to Watford.

Comments (14)

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6:44pm Thu 13 Mar 14

fenton1972 says...

about time
about time fenton1972
  • Score: 12

6:48pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Wacko Jacko says...

Good news, I'm fed up with running the gauntlet of these teams of collectors. If they don't get you going down the High Street, they catch you on the way back. Let's clear them out.
Good news, I'm fed up with running the gauntlet of these teams of collectors. If they don't get you going down the High Street, they catch you on the way back. Let's clear them out. Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 18

8:56pm Thu 13 Mar 14

E.Coli says...

As they get £12 for every punter they sign up no wonder the chase you down the road
As they get £12 for every punter they sign up no wonder the chase you down the road E.Coli
  • Score: 5

7:58am Fri 14 Mar 14

barnet123 says...

Pain in the hole these lot are ... it amounts to anti-social behaviour and they shouldn't be allowed ... crusties out
Pain in the hole these lot are ... it amounts to anti-social behaviour and they shouldn't be allowed ... crusties out barnet123
  • Score: 2

8:06am Fri 14 Mar 14

Hampermill-Mike says...

Chugger "Hi, how are you doing today ?"

Me " Awful, no job, no money, no fixed abode, fed up"

Chugger " Oh, OK then, sorry, you don't fit our profile"

Of course you can always tell then to naff off !
Chugger "Hi, how are you doing today ?" Me " Awful, no job, no money, no fixed abode, fed up" Chugger " Oh, OK then, sorry, you don't fit our profile" Of course you can always tell then to naff off ! Hampermill-Mike
  • Score: 3

9:07am Fri 14 Mar 14

garston tony says...

Allow them to set up a stall so that people can approach them if they are interested but no dont allow them to actively approach people
Allow them to set up a stall so that people can approach them if they are interested but no dont allow them to actively approach people garston tony
  • Score: 5

9:29am Fri 14 Mar 14

LSC says...

garston tony wrote:
Allow them to set up a stall so that people can approach them if they are interested but no dont allow them to actively approach people
Seems a sensible solution. But even that will have to be monitored or we will end up with a virtual market place, which isn't fair if they are in front of shops etc.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: Allow them to set up a stall so that people can approach them if they are interested but no dont allow them to actively approach people[/p][/quote]Seems a sensible solution. But even that will have to be monitored or we will end up with a virtual market place, which isn't fair if they are in front of shops etc. LSC
  • Score: 0

10:17am Fri 14 Mar 14

Cuetip says...

LSC wrote:
garston tony wrote:
Allow them to set up a stall so that people can approach them if they are interested but no dont allow them to actively approach people
Seems a sensible solution. But even that will have to be monitored or we will end up with a virtual market place, which isn't fair if they are in front of shops etc.
The market does seem to be have become unregulated with so many crossing our paths.

Is there a need a 'speakers type corner' where they can congregate which has to be booked and managed?

Some local charities don't have big marketing budgets of the national charities and perhaps should be priortised if there was a designated space to show what they are achieving for local people.
[quote][p][bold]LSC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: Allow them to set up a stall so that people can approach them if they are interested but no dont allow them to actively approach people[/p][/quote]Seems a sensible solution. But even that will have to be monitored or we will end up with a virtual market place, which isn't fair if they are in front of shops etc.[/p][/quote]The market does seem to be have become unregulated with so many crossing our paths. Is there a need a 'speakers type corner' where they can congregate which has to be booked and managed? Some local charities don't have big marketing budgets of the national charities and perhaps should be priortised if there was a designated space to show what they are achieving for local people. Cuetip
  • Score: 2

11:43am Fri 14 Mar 14

1982WFC says...

A very simple way to get past these cretins is as they are about to launch into the usual "good morning Sir, how are you routine) point down to the floor behind them and tell them they have dropped something. They fall for it every time. You then walk past - they look very embarrassed.
A very simple way to get past these cretins is as they are about to launch into the usual "good morning Sir, how are you routine) point down to the floor behind them and tell them they have dropped something. They fall for it every time. You then walk past - they look very embarrassed. 1982WFC
  • Score: 1

1:18pm Fri 14 Mar 14

garston tony says...

Cuetip wrote:
LSC wrote:
garston tony wrote: Allow them to set up a stall so that people can approach them if they are interested but no dont allow them to actively approach people
Seems a sensible solution. But even that will have to be monitored or we will end up with a virtual market place, which isn't fair if they are in front of shops etc.
The market does seem to be have become unregulated with so many crossing our paths. Is there a need a 'speakers type corner' where they can congregate which has to be booked and managed? Some local charities don't have big marketing budgets of the national charities and perhaps should be priortised if there was a designated space to show what they are achieving for local people.
Of course, their numbers and where they can set up should of course be regulated.
[quote][p][bold]Cuetip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LSC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: Allow them to set up a stall so that people can approach them if they are interested but no dont allow them to actively approach people[/p][/quote]Seems a sensible solution. But even that will have to be monitored or we will end up with a virtual market place, which isn't fair if they are in front of shops etc.[/p][/quote]The market does seem to be have become unregulated with so many crossing our paths. Is there a need a 'speakers type corner' where they can congregate which has to be booked and managed? Some local charities don't have big marketing budgets of the national charities and perhaps should be priortised if there was a designated space to show what they are achieving for local people.[/p][/quote]Of course, their numbers and where they can set up should of course be regulated. garston tony
  • Score: 2

1:26pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Nascot says...

Sorry, no seems to work well for me
Sorry, no seems to work well for me Nascot
  • Score: -1

8:26pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Nascot says...

A story that mentions DT our current mayor and yet no comment from Phil Cox. Am surprised
A story that mentions DT our current mayor and yet no comment from Phil Cox. Am surprised Nascot
  • Score: -1

2:54pm Sat 15 Mar 14

Adam O'Rourke says...

Just tell them you don't give to charity, they're not going to waste their time trying to convince you to.
Just tell them you don't give to charity, they're not going to waste their time trying to convince you to. Adam O'Rourke
  • Score: 0

9:22am Sun 16 Mar 14

Roy Stockdill says...

It's not just "chuggers" on the street, I had one at my door who was full of the idealism of youth but very aggressive and persistent. He wanted me to sign up to donate so much a month to some overseas charity or other. I told him quite firmly that I NEVER give to overseas aid because I don't believe in it, but he wanted to come in and discuss it with me. What really got up my nose is that he also tried the old trick much beloved by double-glazing salesmen, i.e. telling me a neighbour of mine (someone I'd never heard of) had signed up to donate so much a month and thus trying to make me feel guilty. I sent him on his way empty-handed but I've also had charities on the phone and when you tell them your number is registered with the TPS their standard reply is that it doesn't apply to them! Charities have become far too aggressive in their tactics, trying to cajole people and also make them feel guilty, and I am all in favour of any moves to clamp down on them.
It's not just "chuggers" on the street, I had one at my door who was full of the idealism of youth but very aggressive and persistent. He wanted me to sign up to donate so much a month to some overseas charity or other. I told him quite firmly that I NEVER give to overseas aid because I don't believe in it, but he wanted to come in and discuss it with me. What really got up my nose is that he also tried the old trick much beloved by double-glazing salesmen, i.e. telling me a neighbour of mine (someone I'd never heard of) had signed up to donate so much a month and thus trying to make me feel guilty. I sent him on his way empty-handed but I've also had charities on the phone and when you tell them your number is registered with the TPS their standard reply is that it doesn't apply to them! Charities have become far too aggressive in their tactics, trying to cajole people and also make them feel guilty, and I am all in favour of any moves to clamp down on them. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

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