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Company who illegally 'pressured people into donating' to them on streets of Manchester fined Published Date: 13/11/2023

A company that claimed to be raising money to fight knife crime has been hit with a hefty fine for illegally collecting money in Manchester.

Staff from the social enterprise Inside Success were found to be asking for donations of anywhere from £1 to one million pounds, despite the company not being a registered charity. In one case a collector from the company even targeted and pressured a child into donating.

Manchester City Council’s Licensing and Hour of Hours Team began investigating the company in March last year. Officers witnessed employees of Inside Success taking donations from members of the public on numerous occasions despite the company not having a permit to collect money and not being a registered charity.

Manchester Evening News reported that Complaints included employees intimidating members of the public to obtain donations. Following the issuing of the regulator’s final decision, 31 new complaints from members of the public were received.

In Manchester, eyewitness reports said collectors asked the public to make any kind of donation, saying anywhere from £1 to one million pounds could be donated.

A parent also told Manchester City Council that their child had been targeted and pressured into donating.

Directors from Inside Success were invited to Manchester for an interview to explain their actions under caution but answered no comment to all the questions put to them. They denied taking part in unlicensed street collections and claimed they were selling magazines which they said their staff are fully trained to do.

At a hearing held at Manchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday (November 2), Mr Singh, representing Inside Success, however entered guilty pleas on their behalf to five offences under Section 5 of the Police and Factories Act 1916.

Magistrates fined the company a total of £665 for the five offences, breaking down to £133 each.

It was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £226 and costs of £550, bringing the total financial penalties imposed to £1481.