Tips to avoid charity scams

Thieves smash into vehicles parked at leisure centres

Residents are urged to be on the look-out for charity scams this Christmas.

Figures show about 351 charities operate in Portsmouth, and the regulator the Charity Commission is now issuing tips to ensure cash goes to worthy causes - not conmen.

Donors in doubt about a charity collector, collection bag or fundraising materials can check for the organisation's name and registration number on-line.

They are also urged to check whether collectors are wearing a proper ID badge, and that collectors have a permit or license to be fundraising for charity.