Westminster City Council is joining forces with more than nineteen other London boroughs and the Metropolitan Police Service to deliver a London-wide initiative raising awareness of bogus charity collections and appeals.
The 'Support Charity Not Crime' campaign aims to prevent charitable donations ending up in the pockets of organised criminals or terrorists. The campaign has been co-ordinated by the Tri-Borough Prevent Team and starts with a day of action on 19 March 2014 and involves police and Council officers from across London.
Westminster Wardens and Community Protection Officers will be out visiting businesses and handing out leaflets explaining to people the simple steps they can take to prevent donations falling in to the wrong hands:
Cllr Nickie Aiken, Westminster’s Cabinet Member for Cabinet Protection, emphasised that this is about empowering people to give safely. She said “People in the UK have a proud record of giving to deserving causes – be they home-based or charities working overseas. However, it’s a sad fact that this generosity of spirit is often exploited by those whose cause is anything but deserving – those whose aims, in fact, are criminal and even murderous.
“I absolutely support the London Prevent Network campaign and would encourage everyone to be on their guard when they hand over their hard-earned money. Only genuine charities should benefit from our goodwill while cheats, conmen and terrorists watch their funds dry up at source.”
The London Prevent Network includes representatives from the London boroughs involved in the local delivery of the Government’s Prevent Strategy 2011, and their national and regional partners. The purpose of the network is to share expertise and to co-ordinate activity to deliver work on Prevent across London as efficiently as possible.
The Campaign is supported by the Charity Commission, Fundraising Standards Board, London Councils and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.
The Support Charity Not Crime campaign is led by the Charity Commission, Fundraising Standards Board, London Prevent Network, London Councils and the Metropolitan Police Service.
On the 21 Feb 2013 Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali were found guilty of 12 counts of preparing for acts of terrorism. The individuals had financed their plot using monies raised in the name of Muslim Aid.
In August 2012 Mohammed and Shafiq Ali were sentenced to three years at the Old Bailey for undertaking charity street collections for a non-specific charity and then sending the money to Somalia for terrorist training and fighting.
For any more information, please contact the Westminster City Council Press Office.