More than £42 million in consumer harm was prevented as trading standards services are praised in a comprehensive report.
Released today, the report highlights the ‘exceptional work delivered’ by trading standards teams across England and Wales – which also stopped 20 million illegal products from reaching customers.
Compiled by the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers (ACTSO), the report is seen as a first of its kind in that nearly two thirds of local authority Trading Standards services were involved in providing feedback.
Trish Caldwell, ACTSO Chair, commented in the report, “From preventing £42 million in consumer harm to seizing over £20 million worth of unsafe and counterfeit goods to prosecuting more than 1,000 criminals, trading standards services are making a real difference to the communities they serve.”
“What’s more this impact is being delivered against a backdrop of local government austerity that has hit many trading standards services hard, with an average 50% fall in budgets over the last seven years.”
“I hope that this report demonstrates the breadth of good work that is going on. The public and government should be assured that we have local authority trading standards services, working alongside National Trading Standards, that the country can be proud of.”
In 2018/19, the work of trading standards services has seen:
- Over 1,100 defendants prosecuted
- At least £42.6m detriment prevented by trading standards activity
- Almost £4.9m in Proceeds of Crime recovered
- £26.8m not handed over to criminals through rapid response
- Over 11,000 scam victims supported and more than 317 years’ worth of prison sentences (108 years suspended)
“Trading standards officers work tirelessly to protect our local communities, already it is clear that calculating this data for the first time pulls back the curtain on the fantastic work being done by trading standards services across England and Wales,” concluded the ACTSO Chair.