Charitable public collections
Produced in partnership with Francesca Quint of Radcliffe Chambers
Charitable public collections

The following Private Client guidance note Produced in partnership with Francesca Quint of Radcliffe Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Charitable public collections
  • The current legislation
  • Street collections
  • House to house collections

Despite ambitious and wide-ranging reforms in, first, the Charities Act 1993 and, more recently, the Charities Act 2006, none of which has been brought into force or is likely to be brought into force in the foreseeable future, the law relating to public charitable collections, ie the collection of money from members of the public for charitable or similar purposes, is still governed by legislation dating back to 1916 and 1939.

The current legislation

Section 5 (as amended) of the The Police, Factories, etc (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916 (PFE(MP)A 1916) and the Street Collections (Metropolitan Police District) Regulations 1979, and any other regulations made under that section, apply to collections in the street (including a shop doorway or a shopping precinct). This has the effect of disapplying regulations relating to street trading, even where the collection consists of the sale of goods if accompanied by a representation that all or part of the proceeds are to be devoted to charity.

The House to House Collections Act 1939 (HHCA 1939) and the House to House Collections Regulations 1947 (as amended) govern collections by means of visits to individual dwellings or places of business (including pubs).

Street collections

Regulations may be made by the Common Council of the City of London, the police authority of the Metropolitan Police District, and District Councils

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