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Hampshire Trading Standards

About Trading Standards

Community

Buy With Confidence Scheme

In response to concerns about 'rogue traders' which are often highlighted in the media, Hampshire Trading Standards has taken a ground-breaking step by putting together the Buy With Confidence Scheme. The scheme provides consumers with a list of reliable local businesses which have proved their commitment to trading fairly. Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks before being approved as a member of the scheme.

Talks

The Protecting Older People (POP) team give talks to raise awareness of doorstep crime.

These cover cold calling and scams.

If you would like a talk to your group or club please email doorstep.crime@hants.gov.uk or phone 01962 833620. We also offer Safe and Sound books and doorstickers.

See Safe and Sound for more information.

See No Cold Calling Zones web site

 

Safety and Standards

This team has four key roles:

Product Safety - Involves work with a wide range of European and UK legislation designed to protect consumers and help businesses (such as the safety of toys, electrical goods, furniture, personal protective equipment, nightwear, gas appliances, cosmetics, and recreational craft).

Actions will include advice, warnings, voluntary surrender of goods or withdrawals from the market, goods being suspended from supply, product recalls, serving compliance notices, and matters can be taken through the courts.

Age Restricted Goods - We work to minimise the impact on young people's health and adverse effects on the community's quality of life which can arise from the abuse of age-restricted products like alcohol, cigarettes, solvents, lighter refills, spray paints, fireworks and video/PC games. Business advice and enforcement (test purchasing) are used to ensure these products aren't sold to young people.

Environmental Safety - Businesses selling or storing petrol, poisons, and explosives are registered or licensed and inspected for  safety. Records of derelict petrol storage tanks are kept and building works on sites monitored to assist builders and property developers. Environmental labelling of pesticides, chemicals, and dangerous substances, together with minimising excess packaging, add to the team's substantial contribution to environmental safety.

Metrology - This role helps ensure all weighing and measuring equipment used in the County to sell goods and services is accurate. This includes such consumer transactions as buying petrol, heating oils, packaged goods and sales of bulk consumer and industrial products too. Recently we have begun checking the accuracy of medical weighing in hospitals. The service also verifies new and repaired equipment to ensure accuracy.

 

Fair Trading

Consumer Advice in Hampshire is provided by the Citizens Advice consumer service.

The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06.

Complex enquiries or those requiring further action are referred to Hampshire Trading Standards.

Business Advice - Guidance on how to comply with trading standards law is freely available to all businesses operating in Hampshire. We can help with advice on a full range of law, for example: civil and criminal law; quality assurance; standards; unfair competition; labelling and advertising.

The Fair Trading Team enforces a wide range of laws dealing with unfair and deceptive commercial practices ranging from counterfeit goods to clocked cars, scam mail to doorstep crime, and aggressive debt collection practices to misleading price indications. By adopting an 'intelligence-led' approach to enforcement we ensure resources are used to best effect to tackle the current issues. All sources of information, but in particular complaints, are used to identify trends and problem traders. By careful analysis of this information officers are tasked to focus on the issues or traders causing the most concern.

Five key priorities have been identified:

  • Doorstep Crime
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Consumers
  • Fraud and Deceptive Trading Practices
  • Intellectual Property Crime
  • Supporting Business

Where it can be shown that an offender has benefited from their criminal conduct consideration will also be given to commencing a financial investigation and possible confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This is to make sure crime committed against consumers does not pay.

A Quick Response Team responds to incidents of doorstop crime. These criminals target the elderly and vulnerable by cold calling offering to carry out property repairs, lay driveways, provide gardening services or even power clean roofs and patios.

Officers are available to attend at short notice and intervene while the trader is still at the victim’s home or in the area.

 

Food and Agriculture (Animal Health)

The Food and Agriculture Team promotes and enforces food, agriculture and animal health laws.

The team works to ensure food is correctly and accurately labelled, that it contains legal ingredients and that any claims made are truthful. It also deals with national food safety alerts and issues press releases to inform local businesses and consumers about product recalls or hazard warnings.

Our Animal Health officers regularly visit farms, abattoirs, and transit points to check that the health of livestock is maintained. Livestock movements are checked and monitored so that animals can be quickly traced in the event of an outbreak of serious notifiable disease, such as foot and mouth or swine fever. We also inspect animal feed producers and test the quality of fertilisers and feeding stuffs.

 

 

Further information

In this section…