Agencies throughout Birmingham are working to stamp out bogus fund raising.
Council Licensing Enforcement Officers, Trading Standards Officers and West Midlands Police have joined forces to stamp out illegal and potentially fraudulent Children in Need collections.
In a bid to crackdown on collectors without permits who may be falsely collecting money from the public under the guise of the children’s charity, the local authority and police will be out in Birmingham on Friday 16th November to carry out checks. Legitimate street collectors for Children in Need will have a city council permit (a copy of their licence) which they must produce to a police officer or officer of the council on request. Those who cannot produce valid street collections permits will have any proceeds they have collected seized. In such cases officers will ensure that the money is donated to the charity that it was intended for.
Birmingham City Council has only granted street collection permit to certain branches of Greggs Bakers in the city centre – the company has applied for a permit in conjunction with Children in Need. No other street collection permits have been granted for the national children’s charity.
Permits are issued under the Police, Factories, etc (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916. The permit prevents a person from collecting in a manner that is likely to cause inconvenience or annoyance. Collectors must remain stationary and they may not collect in the carriage way of a road.
Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “We do not want to discourage the public from giving to Children in Need, quite the opposite, but we do want to protect the public from their generosity being taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals.
“It is an offence to collect without a street collections permit and we will investigate offences to determine whether enforcement action should be taken for unlicensed collections.”
A charitable collection can include a collecting box/tin, or the sale of any articles/magazines where there is a representation at the point of sale that part of the proceeds are being applied to charitable or other purposes.