'Chuggers' to be banned from Newcastle under powers to deal with 'nuisances'

Charity 'chuggers' are to be blocked from the streets of Newcastle under new powers given to councils

Newcastle City Council has passed an order banning face-to-face fundraising, which will come into force later in a few months.

The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was passed by city's ruling cabinet after what it said was an extensive consultation found more than half of those taking part felt chugging was a problem in the city.

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A council spokesman said: “Newcastle City Council’s cabinet took a decision that they were minded to introduce a PSPO.

“The next stage is to carry out further public consultation to ensure the new order is fully compliant with all the legislative requirements. We hope to complete the consultation with residents and businesses over the next few weeks with the order being signed off by cabinet at the end of summer.”

PSPOs give councils powers to deal with particular problems and nuisances under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 in an area.

Chugging has faced much national criticism, with a YouGov study finding 50% of respondents believed large charities had performed badly when it came to responsible street fundraising, and 67% thought accusations of “aggressive fundraising” were fair.

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Charity Commission chairman William Shawcross has also spoken out against the public being “hounded, on the telephone, through the letterbox, or in the street”.

Anyone breaching chugging ban order once it comes into force in Newcastle will face a £100 fixed penalty notice, which could increase to £1,000 if it is not paid.