Fake Britain: £26million of counterfeit goods seized in just one year

Dodgy goods worth £26million have been seized before reaching consumers.

More than 20 million illegal and potentially dangerous cigarettes, toys, electrical goods and cosmetics were intercepted over the past year, a new report revealed.

Trading Standards received around 500,000 complaints and looked into 43,000 cases across England and Wales.

Teams intercepted 15m cigarettes and more than 4.2m counterfeit products as well as recovering £4.9m of proceeds of crime.

And they successfully prosecuted more than 1,100 people for criminal offences relating to the dodgy goods, resulting in a total of 317 years of prison sentences being imposed.

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In total the service prevented £26.5m being handed over to criminals. And it also supported 11,000 scam victims, saving them £4m.

Trish Caldwell of the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers said: “This report clearly shows the massive impact local trading standards services have in protecting our communities.

“Many of these products could have caused significant injury, and in some cases could have even led to fatalities.”

She added: “This report shows the incredible value that local trading standards have delivered despite the significant reduction in resources across the country in recent years as part of the wider reduction in funding available to local government.”

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