It is illegal to hold a street collection without a permit from the local authority. A “street collection” is not explicitly defined, but it involves both inviting and accepting donations. So it is not illegal to accept money if people offer you it, as long as you don’t invite it. Inviting donations could mean having a collection tin, and if the police are being mean, having a donations column on a petition. In a trial in 2010, some activists were charged will holding a street collection without a permit because they had a stall with a collecting tin on it in which people had put money. These activists successfully argued in a magistrates’ court that they were not holding a street collection because they were not inviting donations; the tin was there to facilitate people spontaneously donating money, which they often wanted to do, and no-one was holding the tin or asking people to put money in it. However, it would probably be risky to rely on a similar ruling being made again.