21/08/2012 05:38 BST | Updated 21/08/2012 06:08 BST

Charity 'Chuggers' Banned From Standing Outside Stations And Shops

Steep fines and strict new rules are set to curb the actions of "chuggers", the name given to charity workers who seek street donations.

Following a rule change which comes into force this week, chuggers cannot follow a person for more than three steps, or stand within three metres of a shop doorway, cash machine, pedestrian crossing or tube station entrance.

They also are banned from signing up any charity donations from people who are drunk or unable to understand what they are doing.

charity mugger

Banned: Charity workers seeking street donations will no longer be able to operate within three metres of a station

Any breach of the rules means that charities could be fined £1,000 - under laws set out by the UK by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA).

Katy Dickinson of Nottingham told the BBC she had been "chased down the street" by persistent chuggers, adding: "It's a huge shame that rules have eventually had to be applied to these charities, because of the relentless harassing of their 'charity workers'."

But one charity fundraiser, 33-year-old Max, told The Independent he believed the new rules were an attempt to "phase out street fundraising, because we're not exactly the most popular people."

Ian MacQuillin, PFRA head of communications, has said that for each charity who break the rules, they'll have more funds to pay for officers to check on other groups.

"The more people that break the rules, the more money we have for providing compliance officers to check street fundraisers are complying with the new regime."

Peter Lewis - Chief Executive of Institute of Fundraising said: “The publication of the PFRA’s Rule Book is a reminder that our sector will not tolerate anyone deviating from the high standards we demand from fundraisers.

“Its publication is timely as we work across the sector to develop updated guidance on face to face fundraising to accompany the new Code of Fundraising Practice being launched this autumn.

“We are unified in our mission to maintain public trust in charities so that fundraisers can continue to raise much needed funds for the good causes they support.”