Partnership targets mass mailings in West Yorkshire

A national joint project to train postal workers aimed at helping victims of scam mail has been launched in West Yorkshire by Royal Mail andtrading standards. Since 2010, Royal Mail Group Security has been working with a variety of organisations to reduce the impact of mass-marketing mail sent by fraudsters. The initiative has been set up to combat scam mail by encouraging postmen and women to report those addresses that receive large amounts of suspect mail to Royal Mails internal security team. Royal Mail will pass the information, with consent, to partner agencies such as trading standards, Adult Protection, West Yorkshire Police and Victim Support. The most appropriate agency can then investigate and support potential victims. Scam mail takes many forms and can cause huge financial detriment. A key message is to encourage people to speak out, as onlyeight per cent of victims currently report being scammed and 72per cent will not tell family or friends about it, usually through fear ofembarrassment. Training is being delivered by the Scams and Fraud Education for Residents (Safer) Project, a West Yorkshire Trading Standards initiative funded by the Big Lottery that focuses specifically on educating older adults, who are at most risk of being targeted by such scams. Harehills delivery office was the first to receive the training package, with those in Tong and Whitwood soon to follow. Workshops and training for partner agencies are taking place across West Yorkshire with the aim of reducing the number of victims. David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: We are excited to be involved in this innovative new partnership with Royal Mail. Until now, victims of mass marketing may have gone unnoticed and unsupported, and this link gives us eyes and ears on the ground in local communities to enable us to protect vulnerable consumers.

Cricklewood man guilty of selling fake headphones worth 170,000

Brent Council seized all the fake items after a court ruling. Dyleuski, and Shakespeare Travel Ltd, pleaded guilty to three trademark offences. Dyleuski was sentenced to 44 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and 200 hours unpaid work. The company will be sentenced after the confiscation hearing is concluded. The judge said that these were notoriously difficult cases to bring to court, and acknowledged the hard work of the officers of Brent Council. ERNI / SHUTTERSTOCK A man who operated a counterfeit goods business from his property in Cricklewood was sentenced on 27 February at Harrow Crown Court. Anton Dyleuski purchased thousands of counterfeit Sennheiser headphones from suppliers in China and sold them via Amazon at 20 below the recommended retail price. Between 2011 and 2013 his business, Shakespeare Travel Ltd, trading as Prime Electronics, sold 7,312 headphones to the value of 170,000.

Prison for men who ran rat-infested store

The former owner and the manager of a food store in Peckham have been given prison sentences, after a probe launched by Southwark Trading Standards found the shop was riddled with rats, mice and insects. Decomposing rat carcases in food storage areas, evidence of food contaminated with rodent droppings, gnawed packaging, disrepair, filth, insanitary conditions, flooded floor areas and the absence of a hot-water supply were all discovered during the investigation. The offences took place in October 2013 and the shop was formally closed down because of the serious and imminent health risk. Up to six tonnes of contaminated and damaged food had to be disposed of by a waste contractor. Former owner of Ash Meat and Fish Centre, Shakeel Ahmed Butt, and his manager Shabaz Ahmed, pleaded guilty to 15 offences of breaching food safety regulations at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court on 28 November 2014. The district judge felt the case was serious enough to be referred to Woolwich Crown Court for sentencing. Butt was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for two years, plus 100 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay a 2,000 fine and 1,000 costs. Due to the severity of the case, he was also issued with a Hygiene Prohibition Order, which prevents him from being involved in the management of any food business for at least six months and until deemed fit by Southwark Council. Ahmed received four weeks in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to do 50 hours of unpaid work, fined 1,000 and ordered to pay 1,000 in court costs. Councillor Michael Situ, Southwark Council cabinet member for environment, recycling, community safety and volunteering, said: This is an horrific violation of food safety regulations. Not only have Mr Butt and Mr Ahmed acted irresponsibly, theyve also put the health of their consumers in great danger. Thankfully, cases like this are very rare in Southwark.

Sniffing Out Illicit Tobacco In Lincolnshire

Sniffer dogs helped North East Lincolnshire Trading Standards uncover 3,000 worth of illicit tobacco during an operation in Grimsby at the end of February. Around 4,320 illicit cigarettes and 4.45kg of rolling tobacco, with a street value of about 1,500 and a legitimate price of 3,550, were seized during visits to four shops in the Freeman Street area. The inspection visits in the borough, conducted by trading standards officers with support from Humberside Police, took place as part of Operation Nightshade III an ongoing initiative in North East Lincolnshire to crack down on the supply of illicit tobacco. Councillor Hazel Chase, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: Our trading standards team has now taken more than 81,000 cigarettes and almost 70kg of tobacco out of circulation since crackdowns on illicit sales started in September. The product seized has a street value of almost 27,000.