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May 17th, 2002
Wolverhampton City Council Trading Standards Division has issued a warning to householders about bogus charity clothing collections.
A number of enquiries have been received about an organisation using the name 'Gotham' which purports to collect unwanted clothing for charitable distribution in Eastern Europe and is currently leafleting households throughout Wolverhampton.
Staffordshire Trading Standards are leading enquiries on this issue, having already worked with Staffordshire Police to intercept collection vehicles and seize clothing. Their investigations have revealed that Gotham is not a registered charity and the company registration number printed on publicity leaflets relates to a completely unconnected firm in London.
"Charitable collections are a well established means of effectively recycling items such as clothing and enabling people to show support for their chosen causes", said Peter Calvert, Wolverhampton City Council's Divisional Manager Trading Standards.
"We are advising people who wish to donate clothing to help people in Eastern Europe to approach existing registered charities.
"We are monitoring the situation in Wolverhampton and liaising with our colleagues in Staffordshire", he added.
Anyone wanting further advice or information can contact the Consumer Advice Line, telephone number 0845 330 3313 *.
Wolverhampton City Council Divisional Manager Trading Standards, can be contacted on Wolverhampton 01902 556052.
From : Press Officer, 01902 554077
[end of press release] Copyright © Wolverhampton City Council 2002.
Our thanks to Wolverhampton City Council for permission to reproduce the document. We've added bold to the names of four organisations mentioned in the body text to make it easier to read.
* Note - The 0845 "Consumer Advice Line" phone number asterisked near the end of the document only works if you are dialing from the Wolverhampton area. You should contact your local trading standards department if you live elsewhere.
See also our web pages of examples of bogus collections for more cases involving 'Gotham', including a report by BBC's Watchdog consumer programme.
List of regulatory organisations mentioned in the press release :
There's no mention of :
Note the start of the third paragraph : "Staffordshire Trading Standards ... having already worked with Staffordshire Police to intercept collection vehicles and seize clothing." (our italics)