London Trading Standards work features in national impacts and outcomes report

Work by London boroughs has featured in a national report which demonstrates the value of local trading standards services.

Case studies involving work by Camden, Greenwich and Southwark are highlighted in the new report ‘The Value of Trading Standards’, which has been collated and published by the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers (ACTSO).

For the first time the report calculates the impact and value delivered in a single year by local trading standards services in England and Wales.

The report finds 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’ 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:

  • Detained over 20 million illegal products including more than 15 million potentially dangerous cigarettes, 4.2 million counterfeit products and over 1.3 million unsafe toys, cosmetics and electrical items
  • 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
  • Visited over 30,000 businesses to help them comply with their legal responsibilities and responded to 13,615 requests for advice from businesses
  • Tested 5,716 business premises for illegally selling alcohol, tobacco, knives or other illegal products. On average the failure rate was 22%
  • Received around 500,000 complaints, and undertook 43,000 investigations
London Trading Standards’ Operations Director Stephen Knight said: “London’s trading standards services have contributed to a great piece of work by ACTSO to demonstrate the value of what we do to protect consumers and help businesses in challenging times”

Vice Chair of the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers Steve Ruddy said: “The National Audit Office’s 2016 report on the consumer protection system highlighted how trading standards services have been hit hard by austerity and huge budget cuts over recent years. I hope the evidence in this report will help remind everyone of the absolutely vital work done by local trading standards services and of the crucial importance of continued investment to protect individuals and communities from harm.”

The statistics are based on responses from 108 local trading standards services out of a possible 168. This means that the statistics quoted in the report are likely to be a substantial underestimate of overall impact of local trading standards services.

  • Download the infographic here
  • Download the full report here

ACTSO

The Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers (ACTSO) is the single membership organisation representing senior trading standards managers from councils across England and Wales. ACTSO is focussed on providing effective leadership at the national level while supporting members to lead their services both locally and regionally.