in Community Safety, Regeneration

Support for Wandsworth on chuggers

In all his time at Tooting Broadway, Edward VII has never pestered anyone for a direct debit.

In all his time at Tooting Broadway, Edward VII has never pestered anyone for a direct debit.

There’s been a good response to my, and others, various mutterings about chuggers.

One of the most exciting is that as a result of yesterday’s council press release Sadiq Khan’s office have been making enquiries about the problem (and as far as I know all have confirmed that a problem exists). If the local MP backs the council’s campaign it will be a huge boost, especially as we need Government ministers to activate clauses from the Charities Act 2006 so the council can regulate chugging.

So far, I’ve yet to see or hear someone criticising our concerns. Comments from my previous post include:

  • Chugging is “by it’s very nature an intrusive and pressurising pest, in the busiest areas at the busiest times… Is it fair to expect all of society, including vulnerable individuals, to be harrassed on the street, whatever the cause?”
  • “High pressure guilt-based selling should not be allowed on the streets.”
  • “I’m sick and tired of being approached four or five times a day … and being guilt tripped, insulted, followed down the road and generally harrassed for money.”

And on the council’s website:

  • “it is time this blight was removed from the streets and shopping centers. I am not surprised businesses are suffering as a result of their irritating presence.”
  • “I also cross the street to avoid these individuals.”

One repeated comment is that it’s good we’re trying to do something at Tooting Broadway, but what about the other town centres.  The simple fact is that we don’t have any power to do anything anywhere – we are campaigning on Tooting Broadway because that is where the problem seems to be worse.  However, if successful, we’ll will be looking at regulating chugging across the borough and not just in Tooting.

If you want to have your say you can either comment below, or have your say on the council press release.

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  1. I think this BBC radio four interview with an ex-chugger is very enlightening and gives a good indication of how this form of fundraising is conducted by the sector.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/youandyours/items/02/2008_50_thu.shtml

    The PFRA is meant to regulate this type of behavour and they have been in existance since about 2005 but chugging has got worse and the bad behaviour has intesified in recent years. To me, I think this pretty much proved that the PFRA are not capable or indeed have any inclination of regulating chugging. I have complaint to the PFRA about bad practices in chugging only for them to defend this to the hilt. I think that the PFRA are just a marketting branch of F2F under the false pretence of being a regulator.