Global Investigators & Security Consultants
0333 6000 300

public interest

Jilly Saward

  • 8:34 pm
  • 0. comments
  • Roy Herridge QPM is a Director and founder of Surelock and a former Detective Superintendent with the Metropolitan Police.  He was the Senior Investigating Officer for the Jilly Saward case.

     

    “It is with great regret and sadness that I heard of the sad and untimely death of Jilly Saward and we express our sympathy on behalf of the team that dealt with the investigation into the Ealing Vicarage Rape.

     

    Jilly impressed us all with her courage and bravery at the time and subsequently in the way she dealt with her trauma by helping others and starting the charity, Women in Crisis.  She will be sadly missed by all who were privileged to know her and her family.”

    Roy Herridge QPM Ex Detective Superintendent retired and all the detectives who investigated the Ealing Vicarage Rape

    Following this investigation and subsequent convictions Roy Herridge wrote a book “Believe No One” incorporating this investigation and others he had dealt with.   The full proceeds of this book have been donated to Women in Crisis.

     https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Believe-No-One-Roy-Herridge/0316905631

    read more
    by dave

Now Grey Goods Are Not So Grey

  • 7:44 am
  • 0. comments
  • The recent Court of Appeal decision in R v C and Others [2016] EWCA Crim 1617 has confirmed that sale of grey goods can be met by criminal sanctions under Section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 (‘the Act’), which can amount to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

    Grey goods are goods to which a trade mark proprietor has authorised the application of their trade mark, but has not authorised the subsequent disposition of those marked goods. Examples of how this may arise are provided in the judgment and include, where goods had been part of an order placed with an authorised manufacturer by the trade mark proprietor but then cancelled; part of a batch of goods whose manufacture had been authorised but were subsequently rejected as not being of sufficient standard; or goods manufactured, pursuant to order, with authority but in excess amount.  The issue of grey goods and their interaction with their supply chains is often of particular concern to retailers.

    In this case it appears that the offending goods consisted of a mixture of genuine grey goods and counterfeit products, all sourced from outside the European Economic Area (‘EEA’). This is a common scenario faced by many brand owners and the question was whether all these classes of goods could fall within the provisions of s. 92 of the Act. The decision was in favour of trade mark proprietors, based on three factors: (1) the wording of Section 92; (2) earlier legal authority; (3) public policy.

    The decision is of importance because it provides brand owners with an additional means whereby they can control their supply chain with respect to grey goods. Given that these acts can be deemed as falling under the criminal provisions of the Act, brand owners can now encourage Trading Standards to take enforcement action or launch private prosecutions under the Act. The decision also raises the issue that parallel importation from outside the EEA, and following BREXIT, outside the UK, might be deemed a criminal act – a prospect some retailers and brand owners might view with glee, but others with fear.

    For more information: http://www.hgf.com/updates/news/2016/11/grey-goods-are-not-so-grey-anymore-court-of-appeal-confirms-sale-of-%E2%80%98grey-goods-capable-of-being-deemed-a-criminal-offence-/

    read more
    by dave

Counterfeit Banknotes

  • 7:00 am
  • 0. comments
  • counterfeit

    This is a message sent via In The Know – Surrey and Sussex. This information has been sent on behalf of Surrey Police 

    Over the last few days we have had several reports of three smartly dressed men in suits trying to pass off fake £50 and £100 notes, believed Scottish counterfeit notes. They go into a shop and buy a small item with the note. We have had reports at Caterham, Nutfield and Redhill. Please be very wary of people using large denomination notes to buy small items.

    Consider the following best practice…..

    Buy an electronic bank note checker.

    Use a counterfeit pen.

    Put a note by your till saying “All notes will be checked to verify they are not counterfeit”.

    You may also adopt a store policy to not accept large currency notes.

    Further useful information can be sort from www.bankofengland.co.uk

     

    If you believe people have used counterfeit money please let Surrey Police know on 101. If the person or people are still in the store or the town please call us on 999.

    bucks-surrey-ts Bucks and Surrey Trading Standards

    Trading Standards Business Advice

     

    read more
    by dave

Warning to Councils over Cuts to Statutory Services

  • 8:55 am
  • 0. comments
  • A Council’s eleventh hour decision to conduct a more wide-ranging review of its trading standards function has served as a reminder to other authorities to think carefully about their statutory duties when making cuts – or risk being hauled before the courts.

    Liverpool City Council has faced a two-year legal challenge from a former employee after it slashed its trading standards officers from 19 to four. The former employee is being supported by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).

    Trading standards is responsible for discharging about 250 statutory duties1 concerning everything from disease outbreak and medical weighing equipment to product safety and rogue trading.

    The council has now agreed that it will appoint an independent and professionally competent person to conduct a review. It must consider statutory and European Union consumer protection duties as well as the government’s enforcement priorities.

    It is second time Liverpool City Council has faced pressure to review its trading standards services, in light of cuts. Last week’s contempt of court proceedings, at the High Court sitting in Manchester, were expected to focus on whether an earlier review was adequate.

    By agreeing to the second review the council has not admitted any wrongdoing. Experts say the issue has far reaching consequences for councils that are having to make difficult choices on how to deliver essential services, while faced with unprecedented cuts.

    A CTSI report found2 that the total GB budget for trading standards has fallen from £213 million to £124 million, since 2009, resulting in a 53% cut in staff. Meanwhile, shoddy goods and services are known to cost the economy £23 billion3 while fraud alone is estimated to cost a further £52 billion4.

    Professor Keith Brown, director of the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University, said robust trading standards services are essential for the delivery of adequate adult social care5.

    He said: “Section 42 of the Care Act requires local authorities to protect vulnerable people from financial abuse but most councils only prosecute one or two rogue traders a year.

    “The Office of Fair Trading tell us that 6.5% of adults have fallen victim to mass marketing scams. That’s just one type of scam but it gives you an indication of the scale of the problem.”

    Jonathan Goulding, a barrister with Gough Square Chambers, said well-funded and well-staffed trading standards departments are essential to protecting consumers from the many unfair practices they face.

    He said: “It’s encouraging that the Liverpool review will consider consumer protection duties and it will be interesting to see the weight given to them in the exercise of decision making and the funding of essential services.”

    Leon Livermore, chief executive of CTSI, said it was not just statutory duties that place obligations on councils.

    He said: “Councils must also consider the government’s enforcement priorities, the first of which focuses on consumer protection, doorstep crime, counterfeit goods and mis-selling by measurement.

    “Rarely have we been able to find any reference to these trading standards duties being taken into account and it will be interesting to see Liverpool consider them.”

    Liverpool City Council’s trading standards services first came to the attention of the courts when its former employee, Stephanie Hudson, sought a judicial review. The council instead agreed to conduct a review by way of an undertaking.

    Mrs Hudson, who has now left the trading standards profession, said it was extremely worrying that councils were making cuts with little regard to how they will discharge their duties.

    She said: “Liverpool showed they have no knowledge or understanding of the value of trading standards, that’s very clear. The amount they spend on trading standards is very small, but its impact is quite immense.”

    http://www.tradingstandards.uk/extra/news-item.cfm/newsid/1964

     

    read more
    by dave

The New Age of the Ticket Tout

  • 8:36 am
  • 0. comments
  • A government-commissioned report on the problem of ticket touts is being published this week. Andrew Hosken (The World Tonight, BBC Radio 4) examines how the internet age has made secondary ticket sales big business.

    No sporting event or music concert would feel complete without the ticket tout. Buying low and selling high has always been the business model of the tout.

    But touting now is no longer the preserve of the Arthur Daleys or “Del Boy” Trotters familiar to music and sporting fans.

    The internet has helped to turn it into a business worth an estimated £1.4 billion a year.

    Tickets are now re-sold through a small number of giant websites that have come in for intense criticism. The companies running the sites have been accused of encouraging ticket touts and ripping off fans.

    American concern

    The BBC has learned that the New York Attorney General Office has criticised the business practices of at least two giant ticketing giants that operate in the UK, Stubhub and Ticketmaster.

    Stubhub says it gives fans a safe platform on which to exchange tickets and that 95% of its sellers are not touts, passing on only a handful of tickets each year.

    Reg Walker, the operations director of the Iridium Consultancy, one of the country’s leading experts on touts and ticketing irregularity, told the BBC that even the very cheapest seats were being harvested online.

    “The problem is that there is a danger, particularly with sport, that we are pricing out a whole stratum of society,” said Mr Walker.

    “Those who are not particularly affluent from seeing sporting events, getting involved in sporting events, and that may well discourage people from becoming the sportsmen and the sportswomen of the future.”

    ‘Bots’

    Mr Walker said that as many as half the tickets allocated for major music and sports events could be acquired by touts and then re-sold through the main ticketing agencies at prices much higher than the face value.

    “The majority of the people in the UK cannot afford these prices,” he said. “And they are being priced out by greedy individuals who frequently avoid paying tax and VAT – harvesting tickets and artificially upping the price. And that needs investigating.”

    Last October, Business Secretary Sajid Javid commissioned a review of the consumer protection measures in place for online ticket sales.

    Chaired by Professor Michael Waterson, Professor of economics at the University of Warwick, the review team reports to the government this week.

    A separate inquiry into the major ticket re-sellers was conducted recently by the New York Attorney General’s Office.

    That report said that illegal software called “Bots” was used by online touts not only to acquire tickets but also to prevent fans from buying them.

    Bots acquired an estimated 60 per cent for all available tickets this way for a number of important gigs, the report said. Ticket resale websites were criticised for not doing enough to deter touts.

    New laws ineffective?

    In early May, the Attorney General Erich T. Schneiderman wrote to secondary ticketers such as Stubhub and Ticketmaster suggesting that touts using their websites were probably in breach of consumer protection laws.

    The defence of secondary ticket companies has been their insistence that they do not trade in tickets but simply facilitate those people who wish to do so.

    The consumer rights campaigner Which? has also investigated the UK’s ticket resale market.

    Pete Moorey, head of campaign for Which? said new laws introduced only last year were proving ineffective.

    The legislation set out clear rules for secondary tickets, saying that resold tickets had to show the face value of the ticket, the number of the seat and row, as well as any restrictions on that ticket.

    “These pieces of information simply aren’t being shown by the secondary ticketing sites, which raises concern about people out there buying tickets that either are not going to be what they think they’re buying or actually turning up to an event and being turned away,” said Mr Moorey.

    ‘Prices can fall’

    A spokesperson for Stubhub, the ticket re-seller owned by eBay, said: “At Stubhub, we offer ticketing choice so that fans can enjoy live events.

    “We give fans access to tickets by providing a safe and secure platform for fans to exchange tickets. We do not set prices for the tickets listed on the website, as this is done through our sellers, 95% of which are consumers who only sell a handful of tickets per year.”

    The spokesperson added that Stubhub acted as a distribution channel for event organisers to sell primary tickets at face value.

    “Our experience in the UK has shown that ticket prices can actually come down,” added the spokesperson. “In fact, since we launched in the UK in 2012, the average ticket price has dropped nearly 25%.”

    Ticketmaster said it was waiting for the Waterson review to be published before commenting further.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-36371460

    read more
    by dave

Trading Standards Officers Seize 15,000 Unsafe Hoverboards

  • 7:41 am
  • 0. comments
  • More than 15,000 unsafe hoverboards – otherwise known as self-balancing scooters – have been seized at ports and airports around the UK.

    Trading Standards officers said the boards were in danger of overheating, exploding or catching fire.

    _86998603_hoverboard1
    A hoverboard charger caused a fire at this London flat in October

    Hoverboards, which are popular with celebrities including Lilly Allen, are expected to be big Christmas sellers.

    The London Fire Brigade said at least three house fires were caused by such devices over 10 days in October.

    Many have plugs without fuses, faulty cables or chargers that can burst into flames, according to Trading Standards.

     It said that 88% of the hoverboards it seized around the UK were found to be defective.

    Most were discovered at the Suffolk port of Felixstowe, but others arrived at East Midlands airport and in Glasgow.

    Safety Laboratories

    The faulty devices are thought to have come from East Asia and China and do not conform to European safety standards.

    Most are not branded and have been ordered by websites or small traders to sell on to bargain-hunting shoppers.

    “We suspect that most of these products are being imported for onward sale domestically as Christmas approaches. We urge consumers to be on their guard when purchasing these products,” said Lord Harris, the chair of National Trading Standards.

    Consumers are being advised, as a minimum, to check that the three-pin plug conforms to BS 1363.

    Safety laboratories have been so busy testing suspect products that they have had to take on extra staff.

    Illegal

    Trading Standards is now giving the following tips to consumers who are thinking of buying a hoverboard or who may already have done so:

    • Never leave the device charging unattended, especially overnight. A faulty cut-off switch means it could overheat.
    • Check the plug. Many faulty devices have a “clover-shaped” plug.
    • If buying online, be careful to check the website is genuine and has a contactable phone number and address.
    • Don’t be dazzled by prices which seem too low.

    “Consumers should not let a new fashion or craze cloud their judgement and remain vigilant at all times,” said Leon Livermore, chief executive of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

    Trading Standards officers in Salford, Greater Manchester, seized 90 hoverboards last month, citing similar safety worries.

    Fires have also been reported in the US, Australia and Hong Kong.

    Hoverboards are so called because of a similar device seen in the 1989 film, Back to the Future 2.

    But it is illegal in the UK to ride them on pavements, or on roads. They can only be used on private land.

    Anyone who finds such products for sale is being urged to contact the Citizens Advice helpline, on 03454 04 05 06.

     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34975178

    read more
    by os

Has the Crime Rate in England and Wales Really Doubled?

  • 5:08 pm
  • 0. comments
  • At first glance it would appear that the crime rate in England and Wales has doubled, looking at the headline figures in the latest Crime Survey published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  However,  the figures now include an estimate of fraud for the first time, based on its Crime Survey.  There were also 2.5 million cyber crime offences, such as computer hacking, the ONS estimated.  Using these new criteria the crime rate for England and Wales has doubled to more than 11.6m offences.

    The Crime Survey indicated an 8% fall in crimes it covers. Separate data, based on reports to police, shows an overall rise in offending of 5%.

    Official figures are drawn from two sources:

    • The Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) – based on how many people say they have been the victim of a crime
    • Police figures – based on reports of crime to police

    The two sets of figures have been published together for many years to give a more rounded impression of crime levels.

    The police figures suggest a 25% increase in violence, with murders at their highest level for four years.

    In the 12 months to the end of June there were 569 homicides, up 44 on the same period the year before.

    An ONS spokesman said: “Although we estimate that there were more than seven million fraud and computer misuse incidents in the past year, this does not necessarily imply a recent rise in crime as the new measures bring into scope a large volume of offences not previously included in the Crime Survey.”

    He added: “These new estimates should be seen in the context of a reduction over the past 20 years in the more traditional forms of crime, from 19 million incidents a year in 1995 to under seven million a year today.”

    For more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34538183

    read more
    by dave

Launch: Islamic Curriculum on Peace & Counter-Terrorism

  • 6:51 am
  • 0. comments
  • At least 700 British people are thought to have travelled to the Middle East to join jihadist organisations, and the influence of extremism in the UK has become a growing concern.

    A new curriculum is being launched to help tackle the radicalisation of young Muslims.

    Pakistani politician and Islamic scholar Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri hopes the ‘Islamic Curriculum on Peace & Counter Terrorism’ will dissuade young British people from joining terror organisations such as Isis, and has claimed his work is a ‘Jihad against Isis’.

    He now hopes the government will implement a mandatory ‘anti-radicalisation’ sector to the national curriculum.


     

    read more
    by dave

Clydebank Shops Could be Stocking Dangerous Fake Booze, Warns Top Cop

  • 6:41 am
  • 0. comments
  • Shops in Clydebank could be selling bottles of fake alcohol containing a poisonous chemical, a top cop has warned. Chief inspector Kenny Thomson, from Police Scotland’s specialist crime division, said people in the town are at risk of consuming dodgy booze that could cause serious health problems. The fake alcohol sold in shops and online could be spiked with the toxic chemical IPA Isopropanol Alcohol — which is generally found in screen wash for vehicles. Chief Inspector Thomson recently joined police colleagues in Clyde Shopping Centre to warn shoppers about the dangers of this alcohol and various other counterfeit goods sold in shops. He told the Post: “With alcohol, sold online, in some corner shops or abroad, counterfeiters substitute the alcohol to increase the volume. “For example, the vodka will more often than not contain a form of screen wash containing IPA Isopropanol Alcohol. IPA poisoning causes confusion and can be extremely painful. Even when consuming just low levels of the alcohol it will cause dizziness, low blood pressure, abdominal pain and nausea.”

    wp_20140724_03_25_26_pro#001

     

    Fake vodka has been known to kill people before, due to toxic substances being included to increase the alcoholic volume. Linnvale Grocers, in Clydebank, was the first premises in West Dunbartonshire to have its licence revoked after trading standards officers uncovered the fake wine and reported it to the area’s licensing board in 2012. Police insist the problem remains and officers showed examples of counterfeit clothing, footwear, cosmetics, aftershaves, perfumes and electronics from a stall they had set up within the town’s shopping centre. Chief inspector Thomson continued: “Fake make-up products such as Mac have been found to contain chemicals, rat poisoning and lead. Some even contain rat droppings which apparently help to keep the colour. The sets of Mac brushes are poor quality and there have been occasions when there have been insect type eggs found in them as the fakes haven’t been properly sterilised.” And what may seem like a good deal could indeed be funding organised crime from the far east who exploit child labour, the top cop pressed. He added: “Counterfeit goods and illicit trade have links to organised crime and we are focused on targeting these people who put harmful products into our communities for their own financial gains. All they care about is making money — they don’t care about the consequences of selling these products to unwitting customers. “If you want to spot counterfeit goods, the price, packaging and where they’re being sold from are normally good indicators as to whether the item is genuine or not. If the price seems too good to be true then it probably is. “Fake products are often sold at markets and on unofficial internet sites so always buy your goods from a source you trust. You can also look out for products sold in packaging that features spelling or grammatical mistakes.”

    ALAN FERGUSON | [email protected]

    http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/local-news/articles/2015/06/04/983800-clydebank-shops-could-be-stocking-dangerous-fake-booze-warns-top-cop/

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    read more
    by dave

Social Media Advertising Warning from Trading Standards

  • 7:09 pm
  • 0. comments
  • Once again people who are using social media to advertise their businesses are being urged to do it legally after Trading Standards in Swansea has achieved another successful Prosecution.

    The call follows a latest court case at West Glamorgan Magistrates Court in which a Swansea man received significant fines for advertising services which he was not entitled to offer.

    The offences related to a credit brokerage and debt advice business operated by David Sean Govier from Loughor, Swansea.

    Mr Govier was advertising the company via the popular social media website Facebook as well as running his own website.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAIuAAAAJGU0ZTZjMDk3LTAzY2EtNGJlMi05NWU2LThhMGYwMDRlYmQ5Nw

    The offences related to advertising services such as debt management, debt counselling and brokerage without authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Mr Govier pleaded guilty to an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and two offences under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The Magistrates imposed heavy fines totalling £3,850.

    Swansea Council Trading Standards has stated that anyone seeking to advertise a business in this way should seek proper guidance and advice from the relevant regulatory body before they do anything.

    Mark Child, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Healthy City, said: “Our Trading Standards Team is using social media more and more to look at businesses that are advertising services to see if they are doing it legally.

    Consumer Credit and Debt advice is a specialised service which because of it’s nature requires businesses to be fit and properly authorised to carry out those services in a professional manner.

    Written by Surrey Trading Standards

     

    read more
    by dave