Search media releases

Man sentenced for fraudulent charity collections – London underground

Court Result.png

Court Result

View | Download (PNG - 32 KB)

A man has been given a 12 week sentence, suspended for 18 months, for fraudulently collecting charity donations on the London underground.

Bartholomew Black, aged 36, of Glenarm Road, Hackney, pleaded guilty at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 27 November to possession of articles for use in fraud.

He was seen by an off-duty Transport for London employee collecting charity donations on the Central Line. He was using a fraudulent charity identification card and bucket, then stealing donations. Charity collections are not permitted on underground trains unless in exceptional circumstances.

The employee took a photograph of him and sent the image to BTP, and a BTP officer recognised Black from previous incidents.

Black was arrested as part of Operation Sovereign, which targets fraudulent charity collecting on the rail network.

Black was given a 12 week suspended sentence, ordered to undertake rehabilitation activity for 20 days, pay £100 compensation and £115 to victim services.

BTP Insp Michael Tanner, who leads Operation Sovereign, said: “Black preyed upon the generosity of the travelling public, using a charity identification card and bucket to steal donations. British Transport Police is working with Transport for London to deal robustly with this type of offending as it undermines public confidence.”

 Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Compliance, Policing and On-Street Services, said: “The deceitful actions of Black took advantage of the public’s goodwill by collecting fraudulently and stealing donations. We welcome that he’s been brought to justice. We help registered charities by giving them permission to fundraise in our stations, however collections are not allowed on Tube services and we work very closely with the British Transport Police to tackle fraudulent collectors.”

Notes for editors:

More information about charity fundraising in stations can be found here: 


Share release