WORCESTER is winning the battle against so-called 'chuggers' - 18 months on from a hard-hitting crackdown.

After years of complaints regarding street collectors, Worcester City Council took the step of banning them on all but three days of the week.

Since February 2013, the chuggers have only been allowed to operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with only four of them are allowed in the city at any one time.

They must also stick to just three locations, either The Shambles stretch between Argos and M&S or two sections of the High Street - between HMV and WH Smiths or around the Elgar Statue.

Since the change no complaints have been made to the council by the public or traders about the agreement being breached.

The successful crackdown comes as a new report was published by a body called Charity Aid suggesting other parts of the country are grappling with the same issues that used to affect Worcester.

Councillor Paul Denham, vice-chairman of the licensing committee, which approved the new rules last year, said: "What we've done seems to have worked - we're no longer getting situations where they go around in twos or threes harassing people.

"The numbers are far better controlled, I used to see four or five together, often all in front of the Guildhall and the public would have to run a gauntlet to avoid being accosted.

"At the time the changes came in I wanted to make sure we didn't exclude legitimate charities who were there to collect money, but make sure they did it in a way that didn't cause offence - I think we've got it about right."

Worcester was so busy with the face-to-face collectors before the crackdown, there was even talk of a special complaints hotline being set up.

Under the changes, they are also barred from the city until 10am and cannot go within three metres of anyone in a queue.

The report from Charity Aid suggests many other parts of England still see it as a problem, with around 40 councils saying it is still causing issues.

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, which represents the trade, has struck voluntary agreements with more than 60 local authorities to limit their presence.

Charity Aid Chairman Peter Quinn said: "Volunteer groups are unanimous in opposing it and some have disbanded in protest."