Conference news

Conference News

News In this feature l new app l CONFERENCE 2015 consumer day success l iP crime Applied science New safeguarding toolkit launched CTSI launched a new safeguarding toolkit at the mini-theatre session, An introduction to safeguarding in trading standards. The toolkit has been designed and produced by CTSI and will provide trading standards officers with the necessary information and guidance to deliver the best possible protection to consumers and ultimately make them more effective at protecting the vulnerable. With Englands Tobacco Control Plan due to expire at the end of 2015 and a new government in place, the minitheatre session by Action on Smoking and Health briefed participants on the next steps for tobacco control. Delegates had a technological advantage at Conference this year, thanks to a new app developed by CTSI. The Conference app is a multifunctional software program that enabled delegates to: pick and choose which mini-theatre or plenary session to attend; take notes using a virtual notepad; network easily; and record their personal development. During the event, Mike Macgregor, of Hertfordshire Trading Standards, explained the significance of the app to TS Today: Im atrading standards practitioner, so I have to evidence a minimum of 20hours continuous personal and professional development [CPPD] each year. What youve got here is a tool that allows you to record attendance. After each session I go to, I receive a unique code. At the end of Conference it will show everything that Ive attended, add up the timespent and give me a certificate that Im able to print off and use asevidence. An agenda function recorded which plenaries and mini-theatre sessions delegates wanted to visit, and they could store their tickets for evening events digitally, too. A notepad function also enabled attendees to take notes virtually. It avoids the need for paper, enthused Macgregor. We talk about a paperless office; with this youve potentially got a paperless Conference. Ive been using it to take notes, rather than scribbling things down that Ihave to decipher later. Keypad voting allowed speakers to canvass opinions during sessions and, in turn, delegates could use the app to ask their own questions during or after the event, to provide feedback and to make posts to social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Plus, the app enabled delegates to share personal details with each other via in-app QR codes a kind of digital business card. Corporate supporters were given prominence through the apps background screens and via pop-up adverts that appeared when details about each session they had sponsored were viewed. First consumer day held at Conference A designated consumer day was added to the Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference and Exhibition for the first time this year. Held on the final day of Conference, the plenary session, Coming together to help the individual, consumer focus workshops and exhibition were well attended by members of the public, representatives from national bodies such as Think Jessica and the Property Ombudsman, and local organisations such as neighbourhood watch groups and the police. The consumer day was developed to Scams Awareness Month attract the public and other consumer bodies that wouldnt normally attend Conference. launched at Conference Werecognised that CTSI needs to engage Fraudulent banking services, dodgy with this wider audience, said Karin Layton, credit brokers and bogus investment senior events executive at CTSI. opportunities are the most common As Scams Awareness Month was being cons at the end of a cold call, launched at the plenary session held that day, according to Citizens Advice as it we thought this was a good opportunity to launched Scams Awareness Month, reach people who dont know about the work supported by trading standards. we do. Two in five (41 per cent) of scams Most of the content was focused on tackling reported to Citizens Advice come as a scams, although other areas, such as changes result of receiving a cold call, making to pensions, were also addressed. The day it the most common method of con gave consumer groups a chance to network reported to the national charity, followed and learn from each other. by online scams, at 18 per cent. A number of Hero Awards were also The campaign is urging people to presented, allowing winners, such as NatWest get advice if they think theyve been bank, to find out what other organisations are conned, and warns others to help stop doing to address consumer issues. scams from spreading. The plenary was really well attended, said Layton, and although numbers dropped towards the end of the day, we were also really impressed by the attendance at the earlier sessions; the first two were both at capacity and there were people looking around the exhibition as well. Well look at how to incorporate more and communicate more about the consumer day for next years Conference. Clamping down on the copycats When thinking of IP it is too easy to think of just designer goods. Here we illustrate the complexity , of IP fraud by looking at the type of goods that are copied and the dangers they pose SAFETY EQUIPMENT CHILDRENS TOYS ELECTRICAL GOODS FOOD AND DRINk COSMETICS Click images to find out more Tap to listen IP protection is something that needs to be higher on the agenda. Having an organisation such as CTSI get involved, and have a really clear objective and strategy, is music to my ears Hear Mike Weatherley, former IP adviser to the Prime Minister, enthusiastically support the launch of CTSIs new IP strategy. CTSI launches IP strategy to support local authorities CTSI launched its strategy for intellectual property (IP) aimed at local authorities on day three of its annual Conference in Bournemouth. IP has grown considerably in importance within the UK economy. Government statistics show that UK trademarks, copyrights and the wider creative industries (copyright owners), are now worth 71.4bn per year to the UK economy generating more than a staggering 8m an hour. The strategy, with contributions from a number of organisations such as the IPO, Alliance for IP and the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, has suggested a number of measures and assumptions that local authorities should consider to best support business with their IP. They are as follows: l Identify businesses with IP and reach out to them with support. Placing these actions at the heart of economic growth plans will help to ensure that there is a reasonable chance for business to succeed l Authorities should be proactive in partnering with regional and national organisations to combat IP crime l Trading standards services remain best placed to support business and combat IP infringements, and can also combat the negative impact of those criminal groups that counterfeit goods View the strategy in full on CTSIs website. The CTSI strategy has been sent to council leaders to share with their economic portfolio holders. Itadvises them on practical steps to take around IP. Tap to Criminal activity harms local business and local communities. It drives down investment and jobs and, ultimately, it impacts on everybody living in the Uk Hear Eddy Leviten, director general at Alliance for IP, express his delight at the new tactic CTSI is spearheading to target IP crime. listen Combating IP crime During the session, Chartered Trading Standards Practitioners guide to intellectual property, Gavin Terry, CTSIs lead officer for intellectual property (IP), said the institutes new IP strategy aims to link IP crime to the local authority agenda. He said 31 per cent of people never know they are buying counterfeit goods. He described the sale of such products as fraud and something that trading standards should be dealing with. IP is the growth area of Leviten explained that IP protection leads to protecting businesses and consumers and driving innovation and growth, and stressed that the way forward was for the public and private sector to work together. Matt Lumb, chief executive of Tangle Teezer, a specialist hairbrush company, told delegates he remembered the day a counterfeit product mimicking his brand was brought to his attention. We were flabbergasted someone would have the cheek and audacity to copy Helen Barnham, of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), said 95 per cent of imports come from China, and there was rising hope for tackling the issues in East Asia: Theres been a change in attitude. Were now working with the Chinese police, who have 55,000 enforcement officers working on IP . For the first time, the Chinese are looking at a case of Uk IP crime originating in China, involving counterfeit TV set-top boxes sold in the Uk that allow consumers to stream live our economy. All businesses possess IP . All criminals will steal IP . Eddy Leviten, director general of the Alliance for Intellectual Property, told the audience that he was certain everyone in the room had bought a counterfeit product at one time or another. Its organised crime, he said. And its feeding a supply chain that stretches all the way through to China. He said there are things that can be done at local level to tackle the issue, and reassured trading standards officers that although IP might sound confusing, it was not. You dont have to be a lawyer to understand IP enforcement. our product. But we didnt take it too seriously at the time. We never thought it would be the issue that it is today. Two years later, in 2013, Tangle Teezer took on a full-time brand protection manager. He said the firm now knows who manufactures its brands counterfeit products and where, but a lack of action in some countries has changed his perception of how seriously the issue is not taken, in some countries more than others. He added: It took me a good yearto-18 months to take a step back and not take it too personally. I accept now that this is an ongoing war, with battles won here and there. channels for free. Mike Weatherley spoke passionately about his work highlighting IP crime during his time in post as former IP adviser to the government which included writing four major reports on the issues but said how he still didnt feel hed done enough to champion trading standards cause. I dont think I have done enough with government yet. And I dont think local authority money should be the only way trading standards is funded. Trading standards is an easy thing to cut back on because its the least visible. People in parliament dont get how good a job trading standards does. Credits Published You might also like Images: Sam Atkins and Richard Ecclestone Monday 3 August, 2015 Cyber Sleuthing August 2015 To share this page, click on in the toolbar