‘We are extremely concerned at the impact of Trading Standard staffing cuts, which we believe will severely impact on consumer safety. It is particularly ironic that this essential service is being decimated – with staff cuts totalling 53 per cent since 2009 – at a time when there have been a host of high profile product safety scandals, from exploding hover boards to tumble-dryer fires.
‘Electrical Safety First has undertaken a range of research relating to counterfeit and sub-standard electrical products, which clearly shows how this is a growing problem, particularly with the rise of online outlets and social media. And, as the recent Review of the UK system for the recall of Unsafe Consumer Products has highlighted, the problem of dealing with fake and dangerous goods is not due to insufficient or weak legislation but with enforcement.
‘We have no doubt that cuts to Trading Standards funding is undermining their ability to protect citizens – particularly those who are most vulnerable. And we have a real and increasing concern that Local Authorities won’t be able to meet their statutory obligations with local Trading Standard teams so severely compromised. The bottom line is that such cuts will put lives at risk.’