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Monday 17 December 2007 8.19am
Can someone tell me what the official stance is on begging?(Someone brought it up in another thread). Here in the E&C we have a rotating group of beggars - they change underpasses every so often to try and ensure that they dont get seen by the same people all the time. I am horrible to them, by my own admission, as they sit there amongst all the rubbish. I ingore them completely. When totally exasperated, I say "If you'd clear up all the mess here I'd possibly give you something, otherwise go and get a JOB". One of them all but head butted me the other day. But I just cannot abide these professional "Got any change?" people. I feel sure there's some sort of regulation regarding this pursuit. Anyone know?
Monday 17 December 2007 9.47am
Try a bit further North....Weston Street and up to Lond brodge Station is plagued by beggars and drunks...due I guess to the local Church Mission which encourages them to the area. Leathermarket Gradens is often full of groups of drunks and walking through from Guys to the station is often a assault course of beggars and chuggers. It is such a pain.
Monday 17 December 2007 12.08pm
Excuse my ignorance but what is a chugga?
Monday 17 December 2007 12.15pm
Charity Mugger...the students who grab you for money for a charity and a commission.
Monday 17 December 2007 12.26pm
and the students earn over 95 pound a day..
Monday 17 December 2007 1.14pm
Which is why I think they should be banned
Monday 17 December 2007 2.03pm
You think they should be banned for earning money? I feel sorry for the poor "students" (are they all students?), having to stand in all weathers, be jolly and inviting and with the ultimate intention of making people sign up for a covenant. 95 a day isn't going to get you very far, is it? Less than 12 an hour. Hardly a living wage in London.

They are employed to use the particular tactics that they use as it is apparently an effective form of long-term fundraising (as opposed to a couple of pennies in a tub which is all very well save for the fact that the charity receives no tax benefit in that instance. Tax benefits through covenants or gift aid are one of the most important methods for making money for charity). A number of respectable charities such as Scope and Shelter use chugging. I don't like the methods either, but one can always say no (and without being rude about it - a smile never hurt anyone). There are meant to be new rules coming into force regarding "face-to-face fundraising" under the new Charities Act, but they mostly concern local authrities providing licences to chugging companies.

As for the fundraising companies, they aren't not-for-profit and have never pretended to be. Charities are usually entitled to employ professional fundraisers and fundraising companies are just that.
Monday 17 December 2007 2.13pm
Chugging - the impression intended is that these are volunteers collecting for a cause they believe in.

Begging - the police round Shad Thames say that begging is illegal, but they don't enforce the law because it's too difficult. Having beggars around our national icons does present a certain image of Britain to the rest of the world.
Monday 17 December 2007 2.31pm
cholmondeley wrote:
Chugging - the impression intended is that these are volunteers collecting for a cause they believe in.

The sad truth is that there just aren't that many people willing to do it for free so charities have to pay them. I don't really see that it's a big deal; it doesn't take much to say 'sorry I'm not interested'.
Monday 17 December 2007 3.46pm
I think most people are narrow minded about beggars. You don't know why they are in this situation, or how hard it is for them to get a job if they have no fixed address. I have no problem with buying them a hot drink or something to eat. I'd like to think that if anyone I love ended up in a situation where they have no home or family, there would be people out there kind enough to help them out a bit.
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