With an established reputation across the capital for its effective work in combating issues including under-age knife sales, doorstep trading scams and rogue letting agents, Croydon’s trading standards department is supporting the first London Trading Standards Week.
London Trading Standards (LTS) has launched the city-wide awareness campaign with the aim of showcasing the ongoing efforts to ensure the capital’s consumers and reputable businesses are protected.
Each day will focus on a different theme, revealing the wide range of work that trading standards officers carry out on behalf of Londoners.
Monday’s focus will be on under-age knife sales. Croydon’s trading standards team is recognised as being particularly proactive in this area, conducting regular test-purchasing exercises that have resulted in a number of significant prosecutions, including the suspended 12-month jail term and £7,000 penalty for a Norbury trader who sold a five piece knife and scissors set to two 15-year-old volunteers.
Tuesday will look at the unscrupulous practices of some letting agents who fail to return deposits from clients, illegally let premises or fail to observe industry regulations.
Scams, doorstep sales and rogue traders will be highlighted on Wednesday. The council’s TS team recently prosecuted a “builder” who lied to, deceived and conned a Sanderstead homeowner out of £121,901 over the course of 18 months. Officers investigated the allegations made against Stuart Ackerley, and, thanks to their diligent work, he was jailed for four years and three months.
For a number of years, Croydon’s trading standards team has run its Do You Pass? initiative, offering free, accredited under-age sales training sessions for local small traders. Support for businesses is Thursday’s theme, and such has been the success of Do You Pass? it has won praise from the Mayor of London.
Product safety is a major area for trading standards and will be looked at on Friday. Items such as counterfeit tobacco and alcohol are all-too-readily available from some retailers who have more of an eye on their profits than the safety and well-being of the customers to whom they sell goods that could seriously compromise health. In Croydon, all known retailers of second-hand electrical goods have received advice on the law relating to the safety of electrical products and will receive a follow-up visit.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“London Trading Standards Week is an initiative that will highlight the work of our amazing trading standards team whose dedication often goes unnoticed and whose hard work protects all of us from those who, unchecked, would cause us harm, take our money, and offer services far below legal standards.”
To learn how Croydon’s trading standards team is working for you, check www.croydon.gov.uk/news each day next week, Monday 25 to Friday 29.
For daily information updates from London Trading Standards, visit www.londontradingstandards.org.uk or follow on Twitter @London_T_S.