New rules have been introduced to prevent chuggers harassing members of the public and ban them from standing near shop doorways.

The restrictions developed by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association will mean that so-called chuggers, charity street collectors, will be prevented from standing within three metres of a shop doorway, pedestrian crossing, cashpoint or train and bus stations.

The restrictions will also stop them approaching members of the public who are “on-duty”, including parking attendants and newspaper vendors.

Chuggers, a term referring to ‘charity muggers’, have been an unwelcome addition to the high street and there have been many reports of strong-arm tactics being used and shoppers being followed.

Under the new rules chuggers cannot follow someone for more than three steps. Each time a rule is broken the organisation which provides the charity workers will incur penalty points and when they reach 1,000 it will be fined at a rate of £1 per point.

Fundraisers have also been told to be transparent about how much their firm is paid to carry out the work.

The tighter rules were welcomed by the Institute for Fundraising. The institution’s chief executive Peter Lewis said: “We are unified in our mission to maintain public trust in charities so that fundraisers can continue to raise much needed funds for the good causes they support.”