This year’s London Trading Standards (LTS) Week will run from Monday 18 to Friday 22 and highlight the work being done to protect businesses and consumers in the capital.
Each day will have a specific theme, including rogue traders in the rental sector, unsafe vehicles for sale, doorstep scams, knives, illegal tobacco and loan sharks.
Chair of LTS, Nishi Patel, said: “As we slowly return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that businesses and people living in London are aware of the advice and support on offer.
“The initiatives being run aim to make the capital a safer, more prosperous place to live and work.”
Day one will highlight some of the key projects being across the capital. Operation Regal focuses on unsafe and substandard vehicles for sale, whilst the Tick Box initiative encourages businesses to ensure illegitimate products aren’t kept in self storage premises.
New for this year is ‘Legally Letting – A guide to the law for tenants and landlords’, a brochure packed with advice to tackle rogue elements in the rental sector.
On Tuesday the focus will be on knives and the Responsible Retailer Agreement. The RRA seeks to gain the support of retailers to ensure they check the age of individuals purchasing knives, and to encourage businesses to store knives in secure locations.
Senior Trading Standards Officer, Doug Love, said: “With the training and advice freely available to retailers, there should be fewer sales of knives to underage buyers and no instances of thefts of knives from open display, with potentially fatal results.”
‘Do us a favour, look out for your neighbour’ is Wednesday’s theme. During the pandemic more people were keeping an eye on elderly or vulnerable residents. Rogue traders are now on the increase again and LTS is keen to ask the public for its help in reducing their activities with this initiative.
Consumer protection journalist, Matt Alwright, is the new ambassador for LTS, and is keen to highlight the importance of cracking down on rogue traders: “We’ve never needed our trading standards officers more. For a lot of Londoners, money is tight, and it’s not the time to be losing out to devious scams and dodgy schemes.
“London Trading Standards Week is all about making sure the good people in and around our capital are equipped to get a straight deal and keep an eye out for each other, and I’m really looking forward to keeping up to date with the world of trading standards.”
Business support is the focus for day four, with a series of training and talks on subjects such as illegal money lending, as well as the night time economy and the Ask for Angela project.
Finally, on Friday 22 October, ‘Operation CeCe’ will examine the recent raids carried out to crack down on the illegal tobacco trade. Almost 300,000 cigarettes have been seized and products with a market value of £226,800 successfully confiscated.
Trading Standards manager, Cenred Elworthy, said: “Stubbing out the illegal tobacco trade aims to reduce crime in London’s neighbourhoods by tackling illicit businesses, prevent children from getting cigarettes at ‘pocket money prices’ and becoming addicted to smoking. Keeping cigarette prices at a high level is well proven as a significant reason adults make the life changing decision to quit.”
LTS Week will bring attention to the online consumer crime reporting tool – a confidential, no reply service to raise concerns over inappropriate practices relating to all schemes. Report consumer crime – London Trading Standards
For live updates and information on LTS Week, follow social media: Twitter @London_T_S , Facebook @LondonTradingStandards, Instagram @lts_londontradingstandards and by checking for the #LTSWeek21 hashtag.