Paltry chugger clampdown blasted

The new regulatory system for street fundraisers – the much-maligned chuggers – has come under fire, with critics blasting the fines for breaking the rules “paltry”.
The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association has introduced its PFRA Rule Book (Street F2F) in an effort to drive up standards, and improve the public perception of face-to-face fundraising.
Now fundraisers will not be able to stand within three metres of a shop doorway, pedestrian crossing, cashpoint or station entrance when seeking donations. They should also not approach members of the public who are sitting down. People who work outdoors, such as newspaper vendors and tour guides, must also not be approached.
However, the fines have drawn criticism for their leniency. Charities and agencies will receive penalty points of 20, 50 or 100 for breaching the rules – if an organisation receives more than 1,000 points in a financial year, it will face a fine of just £1 per point.
One source said: “It’s difficult to see how fines of up to a grand will be much of a deterent. It all sounds rather paltry.”
The PFRA document also says fundraisers should not behave in a way that might cause people to become excessively startled or anxious, must not behave dishonestly or manipulatively and must not deliberately use guilt. For breaking these rules, the fundraising organisation would be given 100 points.
PFRA chief executive Sally de la Bedoyere said: “For a form of fundraising that is so regularly in the limelight, it is vitally important that fundraisers work to the highest possible standards in order to maintain the confidence of the public, media, and central and local government.”

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