Projects and Initiatives
Trading Standards is a statutory service responsible for the administration and enforcement of an extremely wide range of consumer protection legislation which includes:
- underage sales
- product safety
- consumer credit (including loan sharks)
- rogue traders (such as cowboy builders etc)
- weights and measures
- false and misleading descriptions
Trading Standards is a statutory consultee for both the Licensing Act 2003 and the Gambling Act 2005. In many cases it is the ONLY enforcement body that can investigate and prosecute for offences relating to these matters.
For all enquiries related to the above or for more information contact Hartlepool Trading Standards on Tel. 01429 523362.
One of Hartlepool Trading Standards many roles is to enforce underage sales of which retailers are still failing to abide with underage sales legislation. By failing to ask for proof of age identification retailers are not only liable to face prosecution, but the potential of having their licence revoked.
Trading Standards conduct test purchasing exercises using volunteers who are carefully selected to ensure that traders should not be in any doubt that they are underage. The volunteers attempt to purchase age restricted products such as alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco products, fireworks and knives.
Any premise which supplies age-restricted products is likely to be subject to an undercover test purchase attempt by Trading Standards or the Police.
Anyone with further information about sales of alcohol, cigarettes or other age restricted products to children is urged to contact Hartlepool Trading Standards on Tel. 01429 523362.
Illicit tobacco is often cheaper than tobacco products purchased legally and on some estates in Hartlepool and throughout the North East, the sale of illicit cigarettes from a front room is now the norm.
It is thought that one in six cigarettes and over half of hand rolled tobacco are now smuggled or counterfeit.
But this is not a victimless crime. It is linked to organised crime and is raising anxiety among law abiding citizens. It also undermines the legal UK controls on tobacco, creating new generations of children who will become addicted from their teens, especially in poorer communities.
Cutting supply and demand is a priority for Hartlepool Trading Standards, and joint working with local police and HMRC is proving to be invaluable in collating evidence on properties selling illicit tobacco.
As well as working closely with the police, Hartlepool Trading Standards have close working relationships with the council's revenue and benefits team. If a Hartlepool resident is found to be selling illicit tobacco they will be investigated, and prosecuted. Those found guilty face an unlimited fine and/ or a ten year prison sentence.
Responding to Doorstep Crime Complaints
Doorstep crime can come under many guises and has the sole intention of obtaining as much money from the victim as possible. Unfortunately, statistics show that the elderly and the vulnerable are at most risk of being targeted.
Distraction burglaries are where a person approaches a household, usually claiming to be a representative of a utilities company or social services, with an unseen accomplice. They gain entry to the victim's home and while one distracts the home owner, the second searches the property and steals any money or valuables. It is the responsibility of the police to tackle this sort of criminal activity.
A second form of doorstep crime involves traders, often itinerants, who go door to door offering to do property maintenance work such as gardening services, roofing repairs, block paving or cleaning of driveways to name a few. Traders who call at consumers in their own homes are required to provide cooling off periods in order to allow them the opportunity to change their mind - especially useful when high pressure selling techniques may have been used. A failure to provide a cooling off period is usually a criminal offence.
It is the responsibility of trading standards to investigate criminal complaints against doorstep traders who have failed to provide a cancellation notice, overcharged a home owner for work they have not done or where work is of such a poor standard that it must be done again by another trader.
If you have any concerns about a trader or information about another member of the public who you feel has been targeted call Hartlepool Trading Standards on Tel. 01429 523362 or email them at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org