‘Outstanding’ Trading Standards stop £50,000 from reaching rogues
- Credit: Suffolk Trading Standards
Potential fraud victims were saved more than £50,000 by direct action against rogue traders in Suffolk last year.
The county council's Trading Standards department received 160 reports of doorstep incidents - from suspicious behaviour to rogue traders carrying out work.
Direct involvement prevented consumers paying more than £50,000, according to a list of achievements from 2019.
Officials said it would continue to monitor the "significant detriment" of 'green energy' firms offering unnecessary, expensive solar panel upgrades and maintenance contracts.
The wide-ranging work of officers included dealing with 206 animal welfare incidents, providing advice to almost 400 businesses on safety and compliance, inspecting 53 shops during the firework season and carrying out 79 comprehensive food production inspections.
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Richard Rout, cabinet member for public protection at Suffolk County Council, said: "Over the last year, our Trading Standards team has done an outstanding job.
"They have protected residents and businesses in Suffolk and across the country. They cover such a wide range of work, from animal health and food allergens, to rogue traders and seizing illicit tobacco.
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"We have seen successful prosecutions resulting in jail sentences and heavy fines, and our team at the Port of Felixstowe has detained of millions of pounds worth of unsafe items, undoubtedly protecting consumers from injury, risk of fire and losing money.
"This year we want people to be particularly aware of online scams and traders targeting homeowners with solar panels and other 'green' products.
"We continue to tackle these kind of activities, which typically target the elderly and vulnerable."
Officers seized 23,720 illegal cigarettes and 12.2kg rolling tobacco, stopped £13million unsafe and non-compliant products from leaving the Port of Felixstowe, and exposed shops selling knives to underage volunteers.
A total of 39 criminal investigations led to nine prosecutions, 25 written warnings, two banning orders and a caution
'No Cold Calling' stickers are now displayed on doors of 22,143 households across the county.
If you have concerns about products or services, call the national Citizens Advice helpline on 03454 040506.