Press releases

Hampshire scheme scoops national award for action against rogues

A Hampshire County Council scheme to protect vulnerable adults from being scammed out of their savings by rogue traders, fraudsters and doorstep criminals has received national recognition from the Trading Standards Institute.

A Recognition Award has been presented to Hampshire Trading Standards for their Mediation Scheme to negotiate settlements without the need for court action, on behalf of victims duped by scams or unscrupulous traders.
Since the scheme was set up three years ago, it has recouped around £360,000 on behalf of victims who would often find it impossible to give evidence in court due to their specific impairments such as dementia, mental health problems, learning difficulties or physical limitations.
 
Using their mediation skills, Hampshire’s Trading Standards officers aim to put the consumer back into the position they were in before they were targeted.
 
Many vulnerable consumers can be socially isolated and worry about the situation they find themselves in and the worry and distress experienced has a negative effect on their social wellbeing. By taking on the case, Trading Standards aims to minimise this stress.

The award was made at the 2011 National Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference and Exhibition in Bournemouth (Tuesday 21 June to Thursday 23 June).

Ron Gainsford, chief executive of the Trading Standards Institute, said: "Our Hero and Recognition awards are important landmarks in the Trading Standards Institute calendar. They are a way of recognising the contribution of both individual members of the public and those working within the field of trading standards and consumer protection.

 “These awards recognise the passion and commitment of these individuals and teams. In many cases, this enthusiasm is infectious, which is very good news. Such work gives members of the public more confidence that someone is looking out for them.”

Graham Belton, Hampshire’s Trading Standards Team Manager, said in his nomination that over the last three years Hampshire Trading Standards have been developing their response to the financial abuse suffered by vulnerable adult residents, and that officers have undertaken accredited mediation training to confidently negotiate settlements on behalf of victims without the need for court action.

Notes to Editors:
The awards ceremony is at the Bournemouth International Conference Centre on Tuesday 21 June at 12.20pm

For further information, picture, or to arrange an interview please contact the Trading Standards Institute press officer Lizi Piggins on 0845 6089430 or 07780 675815 or by email at pressoffice@tsi.org.uk

Trading Standards Institute (TSI)

TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.

TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses.  We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Consumer Direct, UK ECC and UK ECCS.
www.tradingstandards.gov.uk

The Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2011

The national Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference and Exhibition 2011, organised by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) is a 'must' for consumer journalists!

The TSI-hosted annual Conference and Exhibition is the leading consumer affairs and trading standards event in Europe.

The 2011 Conference is being held at the Bournemouth International Centre from Tuesday 21 June to Thursday 23 June.

Journalists and photographers are welcome to attend but should contact the press office on 0845 608 9430 to arrange passes.

Please also contact the press office should you wish to organise any interviews.

The conference is hosted by TSI president Baroness Christine Crawley and TSI chairman Peter Heafield.