Speaking in the House of Commons, Jo Swinson MP has urged the government to work together with charities to stamp out bogus charity collections.
Jo Swinson has campaigned strongly against private companies in East Dunbartonshire who pose as charities, collecting clothing donations on doorsteps and then selling the donations for private profit.
Like many other parts of the country, East Dunbartonshire has been plagued by these criminal gangs. A company called Helpmates has advertised many “charity” collections in the area, and more recently a scheme called ‘Do Not Delay!’.
Jo has called for a more effective licensing system and tougher enforcement action to prevent these companies from continuing to operate.
Commenting, Jo Swinson said:
“These bogus “charities” are taking away vital resources and detracting energy from the important work that real charities do. It also makes people less likely to donate to charity in the first place if they believe that their donation will not go to the good cause for which it was intended.
“In East Dunbartonshire I have campaigned for increased awareness so that people can tell the difference between real charities and bogus ones. However, the Government must work together with the charity sector to stamp out this practice and catch the criminals who are taking advantage of people’s charitable natures.”
Notes to editors:
For more information on Jo’s action against bogus charities please visitwww.joswinson.org.uk/boguscharities
The text of Jo Swinson’s intervention in the debate appears below:
I thank the hon. Lady for giving way and congratulate her on securing the debate. Sadly, we still have to discuss this issue because it remains a problem, although I and other Members have been raising it for some years.
The hon. Lady mentioned working in partnership with the charity industry, and that touches on the nub of the issue. As she said in relation to cross-border agencies, many agencies – whether trading standards or the police – do not take responsibility. Would it be possible, perhaps using the Minister’s good offices, to get the relevant agencies together to hammer out a solution, rather than having everybody saying that it is not their responsibility?