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A Man of a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

Alarm at Increase in Crimes for Charity

Public outcry has followed release of new government figures showing a large increase in crimes committed for charity.

The growth of this phenomenon has been linked with the end of the TV appeals, Comic Relief and Children in Need.

Initially, significant revenue was generated from these events as fundraisers undertook numerous humiliating and pointless activities. When the novelty wore off, however, charity activists and media personalities were much less inclined to place themselves in cringingly embarrassing situations which would perennially come back to haunt them.

Also the public became increasingly unwilling to pretend to be entertained by such behaviours. Indeed, in the final year of the above appeals, donors overwhelmingly sponsored individuals to not undertake their threatened acts of self degradation.

Unfortunately, the end of such appeals precipitated a revenue crisis, forcing charity activists to seek other ways of raising much needed funds for humanitarian appeals.

Tragically, more and more charities turned to crime.

Fitzgerald Y, a stockbroker from Mayfair, was attacked near his home. ‘They’ve no right to do this,’ he told police. ‘They said my Rolex was going to pay for after school clubs for kids on council estates. If I hadn’t been mugged, I certainly wouldn’t have given anything to that sort of undeserving rabble.’

No stratum of society has been spared. Leroy X, a South London drug dealer, was returning home with several thousand pounds after a successful day of dealing when four smartly dressed men with middle class accents approached him. ‘They grabbed me an’ said I was bein’ mugged for charity,’ he angrily told reporters. ‘They said me cash would be payin’ for wells in f****n’ Africa.’

Charity burglaries have also increased, with televisions, media players and computers either being fenced for funds to help Third World projects, or being shipped directly to those in need.

There is evidence that this is an international problem. Blackmail is suspected to be behind the timely provision of tents and emergency supplies to relieve the humanitarian crisis in North Africa. ‘We became suspicious when aid arrangements were put in place in good time to address a long predicted famine,’ said an Interpol spokesman. ‘The official international response has characteristically been “too little: too late”, so we immediately knew something was wrong.’

The politicians and captains of industry who made substantial personal donations to avert the disaster denied that they had been victims of blackmail. ‘I was going to give the money anyway...oops,’ said one senior European leader.

Church leaders have condemned events such as Mugging-Aid, Burgling-Aid and Armed-Building-Society-Robbery-Aid. It is believed, however, that profits from such activities have funded a number of church roof, spire and tower repairs via the seemingly innocuous Fell-Off-The-Back-Of-A-Lorry-Aid and Bought-From-A-Man-Down-The-Pub-Aid.

It is even reported that traditional criminal organisations are concerned about the infiltration of undercover charity workers into their ranks. ‘We are aware that funds earmarked for contract killings have been diverted to housing projects for the poor in Naples,’ confessed a Mafia spokes-hit-person.

Official advice to members of the public is to remain calm. If approached by someone with a charity collecting box, however, the safest option remains to hand over wallets or handbags to avoid the risk of escalating violence.