12th June 2024

£500,000 of illicit goods seized at Fair

Counterfeit perfumes and sunglasses were among items found at the Appleby Horse Fair.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
Counterfeit items are unregulated, and the counterfeiters have no regard for your health and safety

Counterfeit perfumes, fake designer sunglasses and potentially unsafe electrical goods were among the £500,000 worth of illicit products seized by Westmorland and Furness Council Trading Standards Officers at this year’s Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria (6-12 June).

The clampdown on illegal and substandard goods resulted in a haul of 2,500 pairs of sunglasses and nearly 200 bottles of perfume bearing counterfeit Cartier, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Dior trademarks, as well as counterfeit wireless earbuds.

Catherine Hornby, Trading Standards Manager at Westmorland and Furness Council, said: “Consumers are often not aware of the health risks involved in using counterfeit items. Counterfeit sunglasses may not provide any protection at all against ultra-violet rays, leaving the wearer at serious risk of eye damage.

“Counterfeit fragrances may contain poisonous chemicals, including cyanide and even human urine. They can cause reactions such as skin irritation, swelling, rashes and burns.

“I would advise members of the public to steer clear of buying counterfeit items. At best you will waste your money on a sub-standard product; at worst you may purchase something that is harmful. Counterfeit items are unregulated, and the counterfeiters have no regard for your health and safety.”

Police Gold Commander for Appleby Horse Fair 2024, Superintendent Dan St Quintin, said, “The 2024 Fair saw a new standard set for proactive enforcement which the work of Trading Standards significantly contributed towards.

“Our officers work closely with all other agencies before, during and after Appleby Horse Fair with the aim of making the Fair as safe as possible for all. As such, we were pleased to be able to assist Trading Standards in their efforts to target potentially dangerous products being sold at Appleby.”

Director General of The Anti-Counterfeiting Group, Phil Lewis, said, “We highly commend Westmorland and Furness Council Trading Standards team for their commitment to protecting consumers by removing counterfeit and potentially dangerous goods from this high-profile event.

“The trade in fakes attacks the integrity of legitimate businesses and funds further criminality. We urge consumers to play a crucial role in combating this trade by making informed purchasing decisions to protect their families.”

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