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October 19, 2010

The following press release was published recently.  In the next few months, it is likely that there will be more charity collections in pubs and clubs. Licensees are urged to make sure that anyone they allow in their venue to collect for charity are properly authorised.

Anyone wishing to collect money for charity should be licensed by the local authority in the area of the collection. The collector should show this authority on request. If they don’t or can’t, you should ask yourself why not. Chances are the collector is not genuine.

A BOGUS charity collector who conned people out of cash by posing as a cancer charity fundraiser has been jailed for 17 weeks.

Nicholas Armson, 26, from Old Hill, tricked people into giving him money towards Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life by claiming he was being sponsored by St Paul’s Church in Blackheath.

 Armson was arrested on October 13 outside the Prince of Wales Pub in Bloxwich when an officer spotted him emerging from the pub with sponsorship forms and £13 in sponsorship money.

 DC Ian Hadley, a financial investigator for the force and the arresting officer in the case, said: “Although I am based at Bloxwich, I have previously worked at both Old Hill and Smethwick police stations.

“I recognised Armson straight away from my time at Old Hill and was aware a man fitting his description was wanted for a similar scam in Sandwell.

“I have lost close friends to cancer and have a huge amount of respect for the work Cancer Research UK do. I recently participated in a raft race to raise funds for the charity and I know how much time and effort is put in by genuine people not only participating in the fundraising, but also collecting the sponsorship. “

He added: “People like Armson prey on the kindness of members of the pubic for their own gain and it is unacceptable.

“Hopefully this result will send out a clear message that if you break the law you will be caught and punished. It should act as a deterrent to anyone who thinks this type of crime is acceptable.”

Armson was sentenced at Walsall Magistrate’s Court where he was also ordered to pay the £13 he had collected to Cancer Research UK.

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