Wales Heads of Trading Standards

Improving Trading Standards in Wales

Penaethiaid Safonau Masnach Cymru Yn Gwella Safonau Masnach Yng Nghymru





Home pageNewsLatest news > News item

News item

Trading Standards Wales Impacts and Outcomes Report 2019-2020

The Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers conducts a yearly assessment of Trading Standards Services across England and Wales. 

For the financial year 2019-2020, Trading Standards Wales (TSW), aware of the importance of the impact and outcomes of its work on Welsh consumers and visitors, has outlined some of its key achievements.

These key achievements include working closely with businesses to ensure that they are fully aware of their responsibilities in terms of product safety and all aspects of behaviour that result in a fair and equitable trading environment. This aspect of the Trading Standards service’s work was highlighted to an even greater extent with the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020 and the need for PPE to be safe and for business to trade on an even keel.  However, the onset of COVID-19 presented the Trading Standards Service with unprecedented challenges.  As a result, the following information is a mere snapshot of the work actually undertaken by the service across Wales in 2019-2020. 

During 2019-2020, it was calculated that:

The service prevented over £4,738,852 of consumer harm 

Over 18,000 unsafe or non-compliant goods were removed from circulation.  

Provided support to 527 scam victims and saved consumers over £546,156 by disrupting scams such as mass marketing fraud

TSW continues to work closely with its partners in tackling illegal tobacco sales with well over 1,000,000 illegal cigarettes being removed from the market with a retail value of at least £273,000.  

Over 400 premises were tested in relation to the sale of age restricted produces which included alcohol, tobacco products and knives.  An example of the work undertaken by Welsh local authorities in this respect can be viewed at https://www.tradingstandardswales.org.uk/news/news-item.cfm/newsid/3531 

As a result of trading standards intervention:

Prison and suspended sentences amounting to a total of 282 months were handed down.  

Defendants were ordered to pay a total of £250,000 in fines and £207,000 in costs were awarded 

Over £610,000 was paid in relation to the proceeds made in respect of criminal activity. 

The following is an example of the prosecution of a rogue trader who was handed fines and instructed to pay costs amounting to a total of £2,000 https://www.tradingstandardswales.org.uk/news/news-item.cfm/newsid/3533 

Trading Standards is not merely concerned with the health and welfare of consumers but that of animals too.  During 2019-2020, 248 businesses were found to be in breach of animal health and welfare legislation with significant effort being placed on regulating those breeding dogs, whether licensed or operating illegally.  

Much of this work is delivered via the Animal Health Partnership Delivery Programme in conjunction with Welsh Government.  Joint working and financing from the Welsh Government has enabled Trading Standards Wales to put forward a three-year proposal utilising intelligence to target those individuals and Organised Crime Groups that target consumers by selling puppies that have physical and mental health issues, at exorbitant prices.  An example of action taken by Trading Standards in relation to animal welfare can be viewed at http://newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/2019/07/chaotic-record-keeping-lands-farmer-in-court/#.X9j37Nj7TIV

Trading Standards Wales also provides safeguarding interventions to those vulnerable to financial abuse, or at risk of it. It is estimated that scams cost the economy between £5-10 billion each year, with 53% of people over 65 being targeted by scams. TSW responds to financial abuse relating to goods and services; including online, telephone, mail and doorstep frauds. Victims are provided with advice and assistance to obtain redress, where possible, and to prevent future loss. 

In the financial year 2019-20, there were 1484 reports made to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline from consumers in Wales reporting scams for intelligence purposes or seeking advice as a result of falling victim to a scam.

At the end of the 2019-2020 financial year, at the time when the UK went into national lockdown, the number of reports relating to attempted scams increased significantly as a result of fraudsters seeking to take advantage of the situation. Officers responded to this by promoting messages of advice and offering reassurance to consumers.  

This is merely a flavour of the work that Trading Standards undertakes within communities to keep residents safe.  

To report matters of concern, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or to speak to an advisor in Welsh call 0808 223 1144. Calls are logged and details can be made available to Trading Standards Services across Wales.