3PB Direct

Trading Standards Officers have a number of investigative powers. In some circumstances these extend to seizing and detaining goods. They do not have powers of arrest, but where they suspect a trading standards offences or a criminal offence has been committed they can request the assistance of the police in order to arrest a suspect. One investigative tool available to Trading Standards Officers is ‘mystery shopping’ – the ability to pose as a consumer.

Trading Standards can turn up at your place of business unannounced, seize goods, records, computers, mobile phones; interview staff on the spot; seize personal and company assets; instigate arrests and criminal proceedings; in short they can effectively shut you and your business down. They have a number of courses of action which include:

  • Warnings
  • Referrals to other agencies
  • Fixed Penalty Notices
  • Statutory notices
  • Forfeiture
  • Undertakings/injunctions (see Enterprise Act)
  • Review of licences
  • Removal of animals
  • Cautions
  • Criminal prosecutions in both the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts
  • Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) proceedings.

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How to instruct a barrister

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