Sniffing out fake Bacardi…


Bracknell Forest Trading Standards, with a lot of help from the guys above, are continuing the fight against illegal and dangerous alcohol with the seizure of 20 bottles of counterfeit Bacardi.

See the article here:

Fake alcohol can cause blindness and liver disease. Is it worth taking the risk to save a few quid?

If you suspect illegal tobacco is being sold in Solihull please contact us on 03454 04 05 06.



Gloucester shop owner fined £19,000 for repeatedly selling illegal tobacco


A shop owner from Gloucester has been hit hard by Trading Standards for repeatedly flouting the law by selling illegal tobacco. He was fined £19,000 by a magistrates court following a staggering 18 undercover test purchases carried out by Trading Standards between 2014 and 2015. Illegal cigarettes were found concealed in a hole in a bathroom floor and in a ceiling. See below for the full article:

The penalties for selling illegal tobacco are getting tougher. If you suspect any illegal tobacco is being sold in Solihull please contact us on 03454 04 05 06.

Maybe 1 in 5 bottles of wine at corner shops are fakes


Like your wine? It is thought that maybe 1 in 5 bottles bought from your corner shop is fake. Fake alcohol can include “chemicals used in cleaning fluids, nail polish remover, automobile screen wash and anti-freeze” says Professor Paul Wallace, chief medical adviser for the charity Drinkaware.

This article highlights the bewildering array of products that are faked:

If you suspect counterfeit alcohol is being sold in Solihull please contactus on 03454 04 05 06.



Crime doesn’t always pay…


Trading Standards authorities have the ability to hit the criminals where it hurts – in the pocket.

The Proceeds of Crime Act enables the police and local authorities to claw back some of the ill gotten gains resulting from crime. A recent case in York involving the National Trading Standards Scambuster Team showed just how much money can be involved in illict activities. A gang of second hand car sellers were found to have amassed a staggering £26.5 million by selling misdescribed cars to the public.

Five Bentleys and a Ferrari were among vehicles that were seized and auctioned to pay the taxpayer back.

It is always refreshing when the tables are turned on these conmen!!

See the full article here:

Why is less than 10% of door step crime reported?

STOCK PHOTO................... Story by .. Rogue traders. bogus callers on the elderly can be a shocking experience .

National statistics indicate that less than 10% of crimes which take place on a victim’s doorstep (i.e cold calling) are ever reported. Why is this?

A survey in 2013 estimated that 17,000 reports of doorstep crime are made annually to Trading Standards services across England and Wales. However, this is is just a drop in the ocean. It is thought that between 90% to 95% are NEVER reported. This means as many as 340,000 cases remain unreported, the victim unprotected and the criminal unpunished.

Why do so many people continue to be reluctant to report instances of crime? Unfortunately, the demographic most affected by this type of crime are elderly people, often females, living on their own. Victims can be reluctant to come forward to the authorities for any of the following reasons:

– They are too frightened of repercussions from often intimidating and aggressive offenders

– They may be frightened of the court process if they are asked to be a witness

– They may feel that they will lose their idependence and forced to go into residential care if they have been victimised

– They might think that nothing can be done about it anyway or that they will look silly to have been conned

– They may even lack mental capacity to be able to complain or be unable to recall details of the crimes. (In Solihull recently we dealt with a lady who had fairly advanced memory difficulties. She was unable to remember when the crime happened or how much money she actually gave the criminals).

See the full article from Ruth Andrews, head of investigations and safeguarding at North Yorkshire Trading Standards here:

Solihull Trading Standards want to continually reinforce the message that we are here to help. We want victims of these crimes to feel safe in their homes and to prevent similar crimes happening to anyone else. If you suspect rogue trader activity please contact us on 03454 04 05 06 or the Police on either 101 or 999 (depending on the severity of the situation). Let us all work together to stop these insidious criminals.

The tragic issue of flammable children’s fancy dress costumes


BBC’s consumer rights programme Watchdog recently aired a report into the dangers of unsafe fancy dress costumes. Television personality Claudia Winkleman is backing the campaign for people to be careful around candles and for the safety of the clothing to be considerably enhanced. Her own daughter suffered serious burns after her Halloween costume caught fire after it brushed against a candle. You can see for yourself in the picture above (taken during testing by the Fire Service and West Sussex Trading Standards) the dangers that are posed.

See the article below from Cheshire Fire Service for fire safety guidance:


Looking for love? 6 reasons to consider why not….


Online dating brings thousands of people together each day. However, as always, there are scammers lurking who are only too willing to befriend you and take your cash.. See 6 tips to steer clear of these fraudsters here:


Selling illegal cigarettes? It may cost you £6,000…..


Shopkeepers in Smethwick and West Bromwich have been fined over £6000 each after admitting 21 charges of selling tobacco without health warnings and 6 counts of selling counterfeit goods.

Trading Standards inspections uncovered the illicit goods. The sentences are a warning to traders who may think they can make some money by selling ‘under the counter’ merchandise. See the full article below:

If you suspect that illegal tobacco is being sold in Solihull please contact us on 03454 04 05 06.


Phew! Hard work but all baggage scales at Birmingham Airport have been tested!

baggage weighers

It has been a hard slog lifting all those weights but all 123 baggage weighers at Birmingham Airport have been tested!! Every year Solihull Trading Standards carry out checks at the airport to make sure the baggage scales are fair and passengers are not being overcharged for their luggage weight.

As you can see from the picture above we use iron weights to fully load EVERY baggage weigher. Only two officers have therefore lifted approximately 33 tonnes of weights over the last day and a half!! That is equivalent to 25 family cars being shifted by hand! It has been tiring but completely worth it to ensure complete passenger confidence at BHX.

Wherever you are travelling to from Birmingham you can be confident that you are getting a fair deal!