Police are called to silence charity singer Raymond

Raymond Anderson and Larne Cancer Research Shop manager Sharon Steenson. INLT 46-396-PR
Raymond Anderson and Larne Cancer Research Shop manager Sharon Steenson. INLT 46-396-PR

charity supporter Raymond Anderson has vowed to keep up his musical fundraising - despite someone making a complaint to the police about him.

The Larne man - a familiar figure in the town centre - was happily singing away to one of his favourite Country tunes outside the Cancer Research UK shop in Main Street on Saturday when he was approached by two officers.

“They said that someone had made a complaint to them about me,” said Raymond.

“I just provide a bit of entertainment and if anyone wants to give a donation to the charity that’s great. Most people have a bit of banter with me as they are passing,” he said.

Sharon Steenson, manageress of the Cancer Research shop, said she was shocked that someone had complained to the police about Raymond, when all he was trying to do was raise vital charity funds.

“He had only started 10 minutes when police came along saying he shouldn’t be doing it. I know you need a licence to collect money in the street for charity but he was under the canopy of our shop.

“He just has the bucket sitting on the ground - which we take responsibility for - and doesn’t hassle people for money. What is the problem with that?

“Raymond does so much for the town in general. In fact, people often say he brings a real buzz to the place. People passing by seem to enjoy the music and have a dance with him and a bit of fun. He helps a number of charities in the town along with Cancer Research and goes to Ballymena as well. He brings in hundreds of pounds that wouldn’t be raised otherwise, so what’s the harm in that?” she asked.

Sharon said the officers didn’t seem to see a problem with Raymond’s activities either, and eventually allowed him to carry on.

Raymond said he wouldn’t be put off by Saturday’s incident.

“I stopped drinking nine years ago and since then I started to do charity work. I go round the shops and also go to nursing homes and provide a bit of entertainment there. I like to get involved in things and help where I can.

“If people don’t like my music they can just walk by. To try to bring the police into it is a bit much,” he said.

When contacted about the issue by the Larne Times, a police spokesman confirmed: “Police were called to business premises at the Main Street area, Larne on Saturday, November 12.

“One man was spoken to in relation collecting money without a necessary permit. No offences were recorded.”