Trading Standards officers busy protecting the good folk of Staffordshire from danger

OVER 20 million illegal products including more than 15 million potentially dangerous cigarettes have been detained by local trading standards services in the last year, a new report from the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers has revealed.

The report found that local trading standards services prevented at least £42 million worth of consumer harm in 2018/19, as well as prosecuting in excess of 1,100 people for criminal offences. A total of more than 317 years’ worth of prison sentences (108 years suspended) were also handed down to criminals as a result of prosecutions by local trading standards services.

In addition, in 2018/19 local trading standards services:

  • Recovered £4.9m in Proceeds of Crime, and prevented £26.5 million being handed over to doorstep criminals
  • Provided support to over 11,000 scam victims – saving victims over £4 million
  • Found 3,399 businesses that were supplying food that was mis-described, did not correctly declare allergens, contained toxic or illegal components or was involved in food fraud
  • Tested 5,716 business premises for illegally selling alcohol, tobacco, knives or other illegal products. On average the failure rate was 22%

In Staffordshire alone over the same period, 24,000 illicit cigarettes with a street value of £12,500 were seized. In addition to this, 34,300 counterfeit items with an estimated value of £204,000 were removed from or prevented from entering the supply chain.

Trish Caldwell, Head of Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council and Chair of the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers said: “This report clearly shows the massive impact that local trading standards services have in protecting our communities. The work of local trading standards officers delivers huge value – from saving consumers millions of pounds to supporting some extremely vulnerable victims.

“The fact that trading standards officers have prevented over 20 million illegal products reaching consumers in the last year alone shows the scale of the threat they are responding to. Many of these products could have caused significant injury, and in some cases could have even led to fatalities.”

The full report can be viewed at: