Monday 24 - Friday 28 October 2022
Trading Standards Wales Week is all about raising awareness of the wide variety of work done by Trading Standards officers in Wales. We have chosen five areas of our work to highlight over the week and you’ll be able to watch a series of podcasts and short videos introducing you to your local officers. Trading Standards Wales is a collaboration of all the Trading Standards authorities and we work together to make sure that we’re consistent across local authority borders and that we target the issues that really matter to the public and businesses in Wales. By pooling resources on certain projects we can do more with our shrinking resources and ensure we target the criminals and support genuine businesses.
Monday is all about ‘Age Matters’ as we highlight a project testing whether vapes could be sold to children. We found that 15% of our attempts resulted in a sale, with two shocking instances where the child was asked their real age, told the truth and were still sold the age restricted product.
‘Avoid Vehicle Anxiety’ is Tuesday’s message. Our officers identified 18 traders in one week posing as private sellers on social media, in an attempt to avoid providing consumer rights to their customers.
On Wednesday we ask ‘What’s on your plate?’ after officers found 39% of kebabs had the wrong meat specified and 43% of vegan foods we tested contained meat or dairy. Our campaign to ensure businesses heed Natasha’s Law is aimed at saving lives by ensuring that food is correctly labelled no matter where you buy it.
Energy saving is at the forefront of everyone’s minds at present, and on Thursday we talk about taking ‘A Safe Route to Net Zero’ by learning how to avoid scams. We will also launch a toolkit to support Welsh authorities in enforcing legislation concerning Energy Performance Certificates. Recent trials in one local authority have demonstrated that engagement with landlords to increase the energy rating of properties has resulted in a reduction in annual carbon emissions of 198.5 tonnes, a reduction in energy of 178.3 kwh and a reduction in fuel bills of over £58,000 (April 2022 prices).
Friday’s finale reminds us all to ‘Buy Wisely Online’ after complaints about online purchases rose 21% during the pandemic. In addition to the glut of counterfeit and unsafe goods sold to unwitting shoppers, we have seen a large market develop around puppy sales. Officers working as part of Operation Cabal have been visiting breeders and suspected puppy farms, resulting in over 250 dogs being seized for protection purposes. We’ve seen connected offences including the supply of illegal or foreign labelled veterinary medicine as well as links to fertility clinic activity.
So for more detail on the above stories head to our website https://tradingstandards.gov.wales/en/tswweek/ and follow @WalesTS on Twitter as well as checking out your local Council’s social media. You’ll find some articles on our projects, podcasts where we interview some of our Lead Officers and a series of videos introducing you to Trading Standards officers across Wales.