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Police appeal over charity appeal concerns
CAMPAIGNERS have hit out amid concerns about a bogus charity collector knocking on doors in Beaminster.
They have appealed for witnesses and anyone who has been contacted but also urged people to be vigilant.
Campaigners have also warned people to be on guard and said it was despicable to exploit charities.
Wendy Nightingale, who has been spearheading the digital mammography appeal for the Dorset County Hospital, said: “If they are bogus I think it is disgusting because charities need every penny they can get at the moment.
“To think that it might be a con artist getting money out of people out of the goodness of their heart is just despicable.”
She added: “The people of Dorset are so generous when it comes to charities as I’ve found over the past year with my charity.
“We’ve raised almost £500,000 since February and the appeal is now closing because we have the money.
“That generosity could be in jeopardy if people go around cheating.”
Ros Fry, who is Cancer Research Dorset volunteer manager, said she had been contacted by a supporter to check out a claim.
She added: “Our collectors should always carry an identity badge or a letter of authority.
“If people want to check the charity’s work, which is to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, they should ring me.
“We really need the donations and we need to get the money to keep the research going.
“This sort of thing is not very helpful at all. It is sad because nearly all of us are affected by cancer.
“It is very good that this woman rang to check.”
Pc Tim Sturgess, from Bridport Police, said a man appeared to be claiming he was doing a sponsored walk in West Bay to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
He appealed for anyone who feels they may have been the victim of a similar incident to contact him.
PC Sturgess added: “Door step sellers or collectors can be very believable but people need to stay vigilant.
“If you are in any way suspicious of doorstep sellers or charity collectors then please safeguard yourself by asking to see formal identification and making a call to the charity to confirm that they are selling in your area on that particular day”.
A 22-year-old man from the Beaminster area has been arrested in Bridport on suspicion of fraud.
He is currently on police bail until the January 11.
Ms Fry can be contacted on 01308 423805 Anyone with information can call PC Sturgess on the new non-emergency police number of 101.