‘INTIMIDATING’ charity workers who roam Crewe touting for donations may face new sanctions according the town council.

In response to recent complaints about charity canvassers – sometimes referred to as ‘charity muggers’ or ‘chuggers’ – the authority has approached the relevant trade organisations with a view to curbing their operation.

A spokesman for Crewe Town Council said: “The town council notes the observations made in recent press articles about the impact of face to face charity fundraisers on the atmosphere in the town centre.

“The council has also received representations for businesses expressing the same concerns.

“In response to this the town council wishes to make clear that it takes this matter very seriously and is looking at ways to ensure that the atmosphere in the town centre is not under threat from over-zealous and sometimes intimidating fundraisers.

“The council wishes to see a town centre environment that is as attractive and people-friendly as possible.

“As such the council has approached the relevant trade association with a view to seeking a voluntary agreement that controls charity fundraisers along similar lines to agreements in place in other towns such as Chester.”

In Chester and elsewhere in the country, chuggers’ operations are limited with various rules including limited days and areas of operation.

Leader of the town council, Kevin Hickson, added: “We do not want to prevent charities from fund-raising, and we have never had any problem with cash collections which are licensed by Cheshire East Council.

“However, fundraising that does not involve cash being handed over is totally unregulated, and the complaints we have had are about so-called ‘charity muggers’ who work on commission collecting direct debit details from members of the public.”

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