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Crackdown on dodgy goods at Norfolk car boot sales

PUBLISHED: 07:22 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:28 02 July 2010

Norfolk Trading Standards assistant director David Collinson launches the Market Fair scheme at Arminghall car boot sale.

Norfolk Trading Standards assistant director David Collinson launches the Market Fair scheme at Arminghall car boot sale.

Kate Scotter

A new scheme has been launched to crackdown on traders selling dodgy or unsafe goods at car boot sales in Norfolk.

A new scheme has been launched to crackdown on traders selling dodgy or unsafe goods at car boot sales in Norfolk.

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards has joined forces with car boot and market organisers to develop Market Fair, an initiative aimed at giving shoppers peace of mind.

As part of the scheme, organisers are provided with a handbook that gives advice and support, including details on age restricted products, information about UK and European standards, a guide to counterfeit goods and guidance on banned offensive weapons.

All venues which sign up to the free scheme will also be part of a network, enabling trading standards officers to share intelligence on rogue traders operating in the area, unsafe goods that are subject to a recall and DVD release dates.

The initiative, which is a revamped version of a previous scheme, comes just months after a pensioner was shot in the head with an airgun at a car boot sale.

David Collinson, assistant director for public protection at Trading Standards, said: “The scheme was developed to give reassurances to people that markets are a safe place to shop.

“Some people use car boot sales as venues to sell stolen or unsafe goods, but the strength of this scheme is that it helps organisers know that their markets are operating legally and safely.”

Last November, a woman in her 70s was struck in the side of the head by a pellet at the car boot sale at Costessey Park and Ride.

It is believed the gun was accidentally triggered while it was being examined by a buyer. Two men were arrested at the time.

Under the newly-launched scheme, venues are provided with a large laminated outdoor weather-proof sign, which clearly tells the visiting public that the organiser will not tolerate stolen, unsafe goods or counterfeit goods, offensive weapons and the sale of age restricted goods to underage buyers.

Jane Bull, a trading standards officer, said: “Over the years, the emphasis has moved away from counterfeit goods towards sales of tobacco or alcohol, where duty hasn't been paid, or to firearms, fireworks or other products which can be sold legally if they are sold in the right way.

“The handbook gives organisers the knowledge of these problem products so they can be sold in a safe way.”

So far, 30 car boot and market organisers, including Norwich Showground, Arminghall and Norwich Market, have signed up to Market Fair.

Andy Faber, joint organiser of the Arminghall car boot sale on the outskirts of Norwich, welcomed the scheme.

He said: “We're trying to run a family-orientated car boot and this scheme protects buyers and sellers, it's for everyone's safety.”

Any car boot or market organisers who want to sign up to the scheme should contact Norfolk County Council Trading Standards on 0344 800 8013.

Have you got a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

Goods to watch out for while shopping at car boot sales:

Second hand baby equipment - never buy a second hand car safety seat as you cannot be sure of its history

Homemade toys - they will not have been safety tested

Second hand electrical goods

Computer games - watch for age restrictions

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