London Trading Standards (LTS) changed the format and timing of its fourth annual city-wide awareness campaign to extend over four weeks.
This was due to the COVID-19 crisis which necessitated a shift in focus for local council trading standards.
The theme this year was “Protecting Consumers, Safeguarding Business through COVID-19”
Starting in May 2020 a different area of trading standards response to consumer issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown was highlighted in our latest news section.
- Week 1 (18 May – 22 May) – Business Closure enforcement – covering data on London business closure compliance and enforcement, together with examples of types of businesses that breached the rules
- Week 2 (26 May – 29 May) – Excessive pricing and Scams – covering information on common COVID-19 scams that are circulating and warning the public to be vigilant. Also included were examples of price gouging and how consumers could report cases
- Week 3 (1 June – 5 June) – Unsafe and counterfeit sanitiser, PPE and other products – highlighting a range of unsafe COVID-19 related products found in London and warning the public to be vigilant and to report cases
- Week 4 (8 June – 12 June) – Travel and event cancellations – with data on cancellation complaints and signposting clear advice on consumer rights. A Podcast with panel of experts covering refunds for travel bookings was also made available.
The campaign was supported by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
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: “Our campaign highlighted the role London Borough trading standards teams played in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Borough Trading Standards teams have been central to the local effort to ensure lockdown regulations were effective whilst at the same time working extremely hard to keep Londoners safe from criminal scammers and unscrupulous profiteers.”
Chief Executive at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, Leon Livermore, said: “The pandemic has brought new, unprecedented challenges to trading standards and its enforcement, and London Trading Standards is working around the clock with our partners in the consumer protection landscape and business to protect Londoners. I applaud the excellent work and commitment of Borough Trading Standards teams across the metropolis.”
- LTS COVID-19 campaign took place 18 May – 12 June 2020
- Follow @London_T_S and @CTSI_UK on Twitter