Charity Collections Licensing

Permission must be granted by the Council before a street, or house to house collection can take place. This requirement applies to all organisations that collect from a street or a public highway. No fee is payable for these permits.

Street collection

Street collection permits are issued by the Council for collections that take place in public areas. An example of this is a town centre.

These collections cannot be undertaken unless prior permission has been obtained from the Council. Prior permission can be obtained by completing an appropriate form.

Applications must be received no later than 14 days prior to the proposed collection date.

There is no cost for the issuing of consent but there are rules to be followed in applying. Street collections are usually made by charities. Collections usually take place in a town centre on busy shopping days. Money is collected in tins. There are regulations which govern this type of collection.

House to house collection

All collections made door to door or conducted in public houses (pubs) in North Hertfordshire must have a house to house permit issued by this authority.

When a collector going door to door makes a collection of goods or money, a house to house collection permit is required. There are regulations which govern this type of collection. Some charities obtain exemptions from the Home Office when a national collection is being made. However, as a general rule house to house collections cannot be undertaken unless prior permission has been obtained from the Council by completing an appropriate form. There is no cost for the issuing of consent but there are rules to be followed in applying. Collections are usually made by charities.

Consents are restricted to enable charities to raise money without their collections clashing with those of other charities. The purpose of the legal requirement to obtain consent is to ensure collectors are properly authorised and that money is collected in a secure way and the total proceeds collected are properly accounted for.

Applications must be recieved no later than the first day of the month preceding the month of the proposed collection.

What to look for if you’re approached by a street collector

Every street collector must carry around their permit or licence with them which shows the terms and conditions that they must follow. They will normally carry round official documentation about the charity they are collecting for which you can ask to see to get more of an idea about what you are donating for.

Another sign to look out for is the bucket the street collector is using. By law, the bucket or container has to be sealed. They are normally provided by the charity they are collecting for, with the logo printed on the front. Therefore, if the bucket or container is not sealed or looks fake, then it most likely will be.

How to tell if the organisation is genuine or fake

If you think the charity someone is posing to collect for is fake you can go onto the Charity Commission website which lists all charities within England and Wales. You could also call 0845 300 0281 and ask.

What to do if you think there is someone collecting money illegally

First of all, the most obvious thing to do would be not to donate; remember to still be polite and decline kindly. The next thing to do would be to contact police on 0300 123 2040 or email - actionfraud@police.uk