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Council tackling sale of counterfeit goods in Whitechapel

Stamping out counterfeit goods has been the name of the game for Tower Hamlets Council’s trading standards officers on the beat in Whitechapel this month.  

Operation Real Deal saw officers targeting shops and market stalls in the area, confiscating more than 400 fake goods imitating brands including Apple and Samsung.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “As a council we are committed to tackling the sale of counterfeit goods on our markets. Consumers should feel safe in the knowledge that they are buying genuine products, while those peddling fake goods should know we will not hesitate to prosecute them.”

As part of Real Deal Week, a national campaign promoting the sale of genuine brands and quality goods, the council also had a stall outside Idea Store Whitechapel.

It was manned by officers from the council’s trading standards team. It has been praised for its decision to voluntary sign up to a nationwide consumer-friendly Fake-Free Markets’ charter.

Through this initiative, the team is working to protect local shoppers and legitimate businesses by helping to stamp out rogue traders and counterfeit products.

As part of the campaign, consumers are encouraged to look out for the Real Deal logo when they shop.

Patricia Lennon, National Coordinator of the Real Deal, said: “In displaying the Real Deal logo, a market gives reassurance to shoppers that it is a safe place to buy and sell. It also sends a strong ‘keep out’ message to any would-be traders in counterfeits who have no scruples when it comes to selling sub-standard products.”

Graham Mogg, Chair of the National Markets Group (NMG), added: “Counterfeit products are not only bad news for consumers but also for legitimate, hard-working local business owners who risk losing sales.

“When counterfeits find their way into a market environment, the revenue goes to the black market rather than the economy. The trade in fakes is frequently found to be linked to organised crime – something that would horrify most shoppers or traders if they knew.”
Although a large number of outlets have signed up to the scheme, the NMG is using this tenth anniversary milestone to urge more markets to take part.