What is a Street Collection Licence?
If you want to collect money or sell items on the street, a shop doorway a car park or any other kind of public space for charity than you will need a street collection licence, depending on your local council.
Street Collection Licences are issused under Section 5 of the Police, Factories, etc. (Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1916, as amended by the Local Government Act 1972 and Schedule 29 of that Act. 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.
A street as defined by the Street Collection Licence includes:
You do not need a Street Collection Licence if collection takes place in:
An area where there is no public right of access (e.g. inside a shopping mall, cinema, theatre, private home, work or business premises)
During a public meeting
By using an unattended collecting tin, kept in a fixed position, in a public place
How to apply for a Street Collection Licence?
There are two ways to apply for a Street Collection Licence.
If you in live in the Greater London area then you will need to contact the Metropolitan Police for a licence.
This can be done at the Official Metropolitan Police Website.
If you do not live in the Greater London then you will need to apply via your local council.
You can find the contact details for your local council at the Official UK Government Website.
Preparing your application
To apply for a Street Collection Licence, you will need the following items:
A letter from your chosen charity authorising you to collect on their behalf
A synopsis of the charity’s background and objectives
Contact details of your chief promoter, who must be an employee of the charity
A letter of sponsorship from the Mayor of your chosen borough or boroughs (this may not be required in some cases)
Inspections and assessment
You must supply a statement of accounts for any previous collections you have carried out, and a statement of expenses after each street collection after licence has been granted.
Your local council may contact the charity you are collecting for to tell them you will be conducting a street collection on their behalf on the dates we have given you.
Fines and penalties
You could be fined £200 if you collect money for charity without a Street Collection Licence.
Once a Street Collection Licence has been approved you may be advised to follow certain protocols. These include collecting charitable donations in a manner as to not inconvenience or annoy members of the public.
Collectors must be over 16 years old, unless the collection is part of a procession.
It may also be advised that collectors are stationary and in a set and predetermined location.
All collection boxes should display the name of the charity or fund collecting and should be securely sealed.
Collectors should carry a written authority or badge signed on behalf of the Chief Promoter.
No payment should be made to collectors.