THE report in a recent edition on the jail sentence on an unlicensed street collector suggests matters which need your readers’ attention. If any street or house to house collection is organised for charity it needs to be licensed by the local authority and relevant rules must then be followed.
Every year I complete the necessary forms and apply for licences relevant to a local charity of which I am secretary. I then see that my collectors are given due authorisation and a copy of the licence which they must show to any police officer, local authority official or member of the public who asks to see it. I see that all the rules are followed and, after the collection, I submit audited accounts to the local authority.
It is clear these procedures are not widely known as year after year I get reports from individual collectors of other unlicensed collectors collecting on our allocated pitch in our allocated time span. The unlicensed collectors are often from well-known charities which ought to know better. I always go and tackle the interlopers with varied reaction. I have been accused of being unchristian, I have been sworn at. I have been told they have the permission of the shopkeeper outside whose door they are standing (he has no authority to give that). In all cases they have desisted and gone away when I have threatened to report them with a view to their prosecution. I just wish people would wise up to the law and obey it so my actions would be unnecessary.
James Snowdon, Barnard Road.