Crime-fighting trading standards have been recognised with a national award for their work in tackling fraudsters and conmen across the borough including a landmark national case.
Dudley Council’s trading standards team received a Hero Award from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute at its annual conference in the West Midlands.
It follows a number of successful prosecutions including Summit Roofguard back in March which was prosecuted for tricking people into having new windows and roofs and producing an unscrupulous 14-step guide for their sales staff. It led to six prosecutions after a four month trial for misleading and aggressive sales practices and was seen as a landmark case nationally.
Other cases include jail sentences for directors of a company who conned people into buying fake thermal roof paint, rogue car dealers selling unroadworthy cars, fines and licence reviews for shop owners who sell alcohol to children, elderly and vulnerable victims of scams or financial abuse who were refunded large sums of money due to trading standards officers’ intervention and joint working with adult safeguarding, including one case where a 91 year old was refunded over £37,000.
The awards were held in June and Dudley trading standards team were highlighted as one of the top teams in the country.
Councillor Rachel Harris, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:
“Our trading standards team works hard to protect consumers and tackle crimes of this nature. Very often it is the elderly and the most vulnerable people in this borough who are hit hard by these unscrupulous businesses.
“I am delighted that our hard work has been reflected nationally and we will continue to work with businesses to remind them of their legal duty and prosecute those who seek to cause misery by conning people out of hard earned money.”
Nine Hero Awards and three Certificates of Commendation were presented during this year's CTSI Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference and Exhibition in Telford.
Hero Awards celebrate outstanding contributions to consumer protection by individuals or groups of people and are nominated by the trading standards community.
Leon Livermore, CTSI, chief executive, said:
“The residents of Dudley have a resourceful and dedicated trading standards team devoted to safeguarding their local community.
"They have an impressive portfolio of secured convictions, with one investigation lasting 4 years and involving a serious number of hours.
"The Hero Awards are designed to recognise individuals and teams who go above and beyond in the fight against criminals. Dudley could not be more worthy of this award."
The Dudley team are set to have their award presented to them again by the Mayor of Dudley in front of a packed council chamber at full council on July 11.