Londoners have been prevented from being ripped off by over £2m over the last 12 months, as London Trading Standards (LTS) tackle rogue traders across the capital.
Following the reduction to local authority budgets, LTS has been working innovatively with other council enforcement teams such as anti-social behaviour, community safety and social care, as well as local police teams, to ensure that residents are given support at the earliest opportunity. The work being undertaken by the trading standards and councils has prevented financial loss to Londoners as a result of rogue traders and to other methods of consumer fraud.
A number of local authorities have dedicated rapid response teams that handle incidents of doorstep crime, and they can receive up to 240 calls per year.
Furthermore, LTS officers continue to provide training and awareness sessions to a wide range of professional partners including social care workers, police officer, fire officers, banks and public health staff. The officers have also engaged with local community groups and the voluntary sector, such as Age UK and Citizens Advice. The LTS have not just saved cash for Londoners, they also prevented two vulnerable adults in London from losing their homes to criminals.
Commenting, National Trading Standards Scams team manager Louise Baxter said: “Prevention and awareness are key to the fight against scams. One of our main objectives is taking away the shame, to get people to talk about fraud and treat them as other victims of crime are treated. This is particularly important because fraud is often a hidden crime, taking place behind closed doors, in our own homes.
Also commenting on the action from LTS and other local councils, LTS’ Doorstep Crime Group chair Rob Vale stated: “Trading standards officers in London are working very hard to protect our most vulnerable residents in what are increasingly difficult times for local authorities. This type of work relies on dedicated, passionate officers who are motivated to safeguard their local residents. However, doorstep crime is known to be grossly under reported and we can only do something about it if we know about it.”
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