End of the line for illegal seized goods

Time has been called by Trading Standards officers in Buckinghamshire on more than £10,000 worth of counterfeit alcohol, cigarettes and designer clothes seized in the past three years.

Around 4,500 illegal or dangerous items, locked away in their evidence strongroom in the bowels of County Hall, Aylesbury, must now be disposed of to make room for seizures during 2019.

Lawrence Eldridge, who supervises investigations for Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, said the goods to be disposed of had either been seized during operations, forfeited aftersuccessful prosecutions, or signed over to investigating officers by co-operative traders.

Where possible goods will have the fake brands removed so that theycan be re-used through charities. Where that isn’t possible, or something is dangerous, the goods are destroyed.

Among the goods to be taken away for destruction is a £250 hoverboard, which was purchased by officers for testing after a similar model exploded, caught fire and injured a mother in High Wycombe in 2015. Shortly afterwards, trading standards officers seized two consignments of dangerous imported hoverboards.

Other goods to be removed include 127 fake designer goods, including handbags, jewellery, watches, shoes and women’s clothing.

Several hundred boxes of dangerous skin lightening cream containing high levels of mercury, and seized from small shops around Buckinghamshire, will also be destroyed.

Noel Brown, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said: “The amount and value of the illegal and dangerous items seized represents the tireless work by our Trading Standards officers to keep our residents safe from unscrupulous traders.”

Local charity, Sports Traider, will remove the goods for re-use or destruction.