London Trading Standards (LTS) held its third annual city-wide awareness campaign in September 2019.
LTS week highlights how local council trading standards are tackling business crime and keeping Londoners safe.
Criminal law enforcement around business and trading often falls to local council trading standards teams, which play an increasingly significant role in policing London’s 500,000 businesses.
The week kicked off on Monday 9th September and themes included the crucial role councils play in preventing the illegal sale of knives to under 18s and tackling the scourge of rogue letting agents that too often rip-off London’s tenants.
The campaign was supported by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and saw the launch of a new Responsible Retailer Agreement (RRA) for knife sellers in partnership with the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) and the Metropolitan Police.
With such a wide breadth of work conducted by trading standards services in the busiest city in Europe, the week-long campaign focussed on three key themes but many boroughs also undertook local initiatives.
- Theme 1 – No-deal Brexit and consumers – a warning was issued to online consumers about the risks of buying from EU retailers in the event of a no-deal Brexit
- Theme 2 – Sale of knives – a London wide retailer agreement to crackdown on underage knife sales was launched. New figures on underage knife sale enforcement activity by London boroughs were also announced
- Theme 3 – Rogue Letting agents – tenants were advised to know their rights and warned about rogue letting agents following the introduction of new legislation. New figures on enforcement activity by London boroughs against agents were also released
LTS is a coordinated partnership of 33 local authority trading standards services across London, sharing intelligence and working collaboratively to ensure each service can maintain consumer protection despite severe cuts to public resources.
LTS Director of Operations, Stephen Knight, said: “Local council trading standards teams police the business community and prosecute when criminal activity is uncovered. After a decade of cuts, we are often inadequately resourced to tackle every case, but teams work extremely hard and use shared intelligence to ensure the worst offenders are brought to justice.
“We play an important role in the fight against knife crime in the Capital by rigorously enforcing the law against underage knife sales. We also protect London’s tenants from rogue letting agents. During LTS Week we want highlight our work and ensure Londoners are protected from such rogue traders and criminal business activity.”
Chief Executive at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, Leon Livermore, praised LTS Week, saying: “I’m a great supporter of the LTS partnership and how it helps keep London safe. Knife crime impacts on all our communities and the work by the LTS team raises much needed awareness. LTS deals with vital consumer issues and its unrelenting support of London businesses is something we should all aspire to.”
- LTS Week took place 9 – 13 September 2019
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- Follow #LTSWeek2019 to see all the Tweets from across London