30 August 2013

Counterfeit goods seized at bank holiday market

Police and Trading Standards officers seized counterfeit goods at a bank holiday racecourse market in Brighton.

Brighton & Hove City Council trading standards staff, working with colleagues from East Sussex, Sussex Police, and representatives of several brand holders, went to Brighton racecourse market on Bank Holiday Monday.

Eleven stalls were closed down or were abandoned as officers approached them as a result of the enforcement activity  

Officers seized a large quantity of counterfeit goods including 1500 pouches of counterfeit tobacco with a retail value of about £23,000. Other items seized included clothing, accessories, DVDs and sunglasses. The estimated total retail value of the haul is £98,000.

A 27-year old man from East London was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of counterfeit tobacco and was released on police bail until 21 October while enquiries continue.

As part of their work to support local legitimate businesses, Trading Standards and Sussex Police along with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have been working with outdoor market organisers across Sussex to stop the sale of counterfeit goods at local markets.

Detective Inspector Chris Neilson of the Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit said;: "Whilst many people see the sale of counterfeit goods as a victimless crime, often the goods are poor quality and can in some cases be dangerous. Many people do not realise that there are clear links between counterfeit goods and organised crime, including terrorism and people trafficking. The  sale of these goods also affects local legitimate businesses.” 

Councillor Pete West, chair of the Brighton and Hove City Council environment committee, said: "Those that are selling counterfeit goods are undermining the vast majority of market traders who operate legitimately, as well as potentially putting the public in danger and contributing to crime. We are committed to working with the police and other partners as the most effective way of tackling the problem."

Police and Trading Standards urge anybody with information about counterfeit goods being sold to report it to them or to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.