Women banned from collecting for Poppy Appeal after police accuse them of being 'bogus callers'

Together they have braved the cold for the last seven years to sell poppies in the build-up to Remembrance Sunday.

But it seems not everyone appreciates the efforts of Jan Hinton and teenager Charlotte Warren-Sinclaire in raising hundreds of pounds for the Royal British Legion.

They claim police ordered them to stop their door-to-door collection and accused them of being 'bogus callers'.

Mrs Hinton, 51, whose father served in World War II and was a prisoner of war, said she and her neighbour, 16, were shocked when two officers approached them.

The charity helpers showed their official documents but were still ordered to leave because a member of the public had complained.

The officers then allegedly threatened to 'pull the plug' to stop the Legion from selling poppies in the evening if the pair did not cooperate. Mrs Hinton was so upset she has gone to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

She has refused to give up her annual collection in the Littlemoor area of Weymouth where she lives.

Charlotte has helped since the age of nine after learning that her grandfather was also a serviceman.

Mrs Hinton said yesterday: 'We are always polite and never force people into buying them. We have never experienced anything like this so were stunned. They have to respond to suspect callers so we showed them our ID badges, tins and poppy trays.

'Their attitude was just unbelievable. They said we couldn't collect after dark and not to collect this week because it was Hallowe'en.

'They then said if we carried on, they would pull the plug on the RBL doing house-to-house collections.

'I thought I was hearing it wrong. Who do they think they are claiming-they have the authority to make that decision?

'They wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for my father and all the other people who fought in the war. They ought to be ashamed.

'Her father, Arthur Pitman, served in the Royal Medical Corps and was a prisoner in Burma.

He died several years later but the Far East Prisoner of War Association paid for her private education as a young child.

Mrs Hinton began selling poppies to show her thanks. She added: 'We never go out on Hallowe'en, Bonfire Night or on the weekend and stop at 8pm.

'People are usually willing to donate and when they say 'no' we say 'thank you' and move on.

A Dorset Police spokesman insisted the officers had said ' nothing untoward'. He added: 'Many people, particularly the elderly, are worried about bogus callers.

'We do not have any problem with legitimate collecting of this kind.'

SOURCE

Tarn Lass

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