Aggressive charity collectors are intimidating shoppers in Shrewsbury town centre into handing over cash or setting up regular card payments, police warned today.
Officers said that in one incident an elderly woman was reported to have been taken to her local bank by a charity worker to set up a regular Direct Debit payment after she was stopped on Pride Hill.
And they said other people had also complained about the 'unacceptable' way charity workers were trying to get cash for their cause.
The warning over Chuggers – aggressive charity collectors – was issued by Constable David Walton, a police officer in Shrewsbury town centre, who said the charity Shelter had been to blame for its aggressive tactics which had sparked complaints.
Shelter today said it 'always had a very positive response' from people in Shrewsbury.
Constable Walton said: "We will be speaking to Shropshire Council with a look at tightening the controls on public collections in Shrewsbury town centre as a result of several complaints and our observations."
Constable Walton said he had no problem with charities collecting for their causes but he was concerned about the tactics being used by Shelter.
Richard Dalgety, a face-to-face fundraising regional manager for Shelter, said: "Our face-to-face teams are rigorously trained to follow Public Fundraising Regulatory Association guidelines at all times. These guidelines do not tolerate approaches that are intimidating or aggressive.
"We also have a clear three step rule policy that states a fundraiser is not allowed to walk more than three steps with someone and walking someone to the bank is clearly not permitted. Other PFRA regulations state that fundraisers must end every conversation politely regardless of the approach of the member of the public and that a fundraiser must offer contact details of the Shelter helpdesk if any member of the public wishes to make a complaint."