Children in Need: Drivers warned not to give money to unlicensed 'charity' collectors at busy Black Country junctions
Drivers are being warned against giving money to unlicensed 'charity' collectors stopping traffic in the Black Country.
It comes after people dressed in superhero and monkey costumes were seen stopping cars at busy junctions in Oldbury, Tipton and Dudley.
They are claiming to be collecting for Children In Need.
But Dudley and Sandwell councils say they do not have a street permit to collect money for charity in the boroughs.
Legitimate Children In Need collectors would have a permit, the councils adds.
The collectors have been seen at Birchley Island in Oldbury, at the junction of Dudley Port and Sedgley Road East in Tipton and at the Burnt Tree junction on the border with Dudley.
Council trading standards officers are now monitoring the junctions and West Midlands Police has been informed.
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for public health and protection, councillor Elaine Costigan, said: “The issue with unlicensed charity collectors is you have no idea where the money is going.
“If you are a genuine charity collector, you must get a permit from the council to operate in Sandwell.
“We have not issued any charity collection permits for Children In Need in Sandwell.
“Of course, we don’t want to discourage people from donating to this wonderful charity but we need to protect the public. The best thing to do is to donate directly to Children in Need online or over the phone, or to hold your own fundraising event.”
Any legitimate Children in Need collectors collecting on the street will have a permit which anyone donating should ask to see before handing money over.
The permit is free to apply for from Sandwell Council.
Permit holders must provide the council with an audited account of what they have collected within one month.
On its website, Children In Need said: "We don't encourage fundraisers to collect money door-to-door, in the street or any other public place and are unable to supply tins or buckets.
"Public collections undertaken for, or on behalf of, charities in public places are regulated by law and require a licence from the relevant authorities. We would recommend that you arrange a fundraising event rather than a collection."