‘Chuggers’ not welcome in our town – mayor

Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies
Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies

street charity collectors are being warned they are not welcome in Doncaster.

Doncaster Council is the latest to make its feelings on charity muggers - known as ‘chuggers’ - clear following a nationwide crackdown as authorities finally respond to growing public anger.

Mayor Peter Davies said: “In my experience, chuggers often harass people trying to go about their business.

“Some put pressure on people to sign up for things they don’t actually want to. I do not want to encourage chuggers on the streets of Doncaster.”

Gloucester become the latest city to ban the charity street fundraisers after numerous complaints that they were “intimidating” shoppers.

To date 41 councils have enlisted the help of The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association in an attempt to limit, or ban collectors from the high street.

Another 18 authorities are in talks with PFRA with the intention of cracking down on those who pressure shoppers to make donations on the spot.

But a Doncaster Council spokesman said the authority could not use legislation to enforce any ban and it could only discourage chuggers from operating on the borough’s streets.

Ben Radford, 48, of St Helen’s Road, Belle Vue, said: “These chuggers are becoming a real nuisance in Doncaster.

“Last week whilst walking the short distance from the Market Place to the Frenchgate Centre I was waylaid, harassed would be a better word, by no less than six chuggers, four of which operated for the same organisation.”

Mr Radford is calling for Doncaster Council to take action by stopping the chuggers operation in the town centre or limited the days in which they operate.

He added: “Even if you try to ignore them, they will call out to you or even step in front of you which is actually quite intimidating, even for me and I’m a fully grown man. It must be very frightening for an elderly person.”