Bushey residents are being warned about bogus clothes collections from companies operating without a permit.

Various leaflets have been posted through north Bushey letter boxes in recent weeks advertising collections, leading Hertsmere Borough Council to issue a warning.

Some collectors do not have a required permit and others also break Advertising Standards Authority guidelines by strongly implying the donations will go to charity, even if they will not.

Principal licensing officer at the council Phil Andrews said: “Those collections damage the ideal of people putting their stuff out for charity. I think there is enough of the misleading leaflets about to be a nuisance and people need to be aware they are out there.”

It is legal to collect door-to-door providing the collector has applied for a permit to do so from the local authority.

Collections advertised in Hertsmere that have not obtained such a permit include Rutex Ltd, Intersecond, Mainland Collections Ltd and Manacare.

He added: “The problem is often catching these companies to prosecute because they are not easy to contact. There are many genuine collections so people should not be put off but it is something to keep an eye on.”

Residents can check on a companies validity by telephoning Hertsmere Borough Council on 0208 207 2277.