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Trading Standards Service Plan 2023 to 2024

Appendix 1 - Key actions and activities 2022 to 2023

Ensuring a safe, fair and competitive trading environment

Objective - To work closely with partners and other agencies where appropriate to coordinate, streamline and improve regulatory activity

ActionsTargetsTimescale
To work closely with the other responsible Authorities under the Licensing ActAttend monthly meetings and continue with joint working arrangementsMonthly
Contribute to local and regional intelligence sharing groupsAttend regular meetings and continue with joint working arrangementsBi-monthly
Develop further links with Police, HMRC and other regulatory partnersPlan and carry out a targeted joint enforcement exerciseMarch 2024

 

Objective - To ensure that weighing and measuring equipment in use for trade is operating within permitted tolerances

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Deliver a risk based legal metrology intervention programmeUndertake 100 metrology enforcement actionsMarch 2024

 

Objective - To work closely with regional regulatory partners on areas of shared concern

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Contribute to regional projects as and when required

Contribute to a Regional Lettings Enforcement Project as part of a project funded by the National Estate & Letting Agency Team

March 2024

 Contribute to the ongoing work of the Regional Food Allergens Working GroupMarch 2024

 

Objective - To ensure that food products are safe and accurately described

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Carry out a risk based inspection programme, for planned interventions at local food premisesUndertake 150 official controls at local food premisesMarch 2024

 

Objective  - To ensure that designated animal feed establishments are appropriately registered and do not present a risk to animals or the human food chain

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Participate in FSA regional feed hygiene inspection and sampling programmeUndertake agreed inspection and sampling programmeMarch 2024

 

Supporting Reputable Businesses

Objective - To ensure that traders selling goods and services online are complying with distance selling and e-commerce rules

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Participate in national website compliance projectUndertake project and any identified follow up work in line with national protocolsSeptember 2023

 

Objective - To receive, record and disseminate intelligence on rogue traders in accordance with national protocols

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Integrate the requirements of the national intelligence model into local working practices

Monitor the use of the IDB intelligence database, to ensure Service is complying with national intelligence requirements

Ongoing

 

Objective - To ensure that local businesses are complying with new rules aimed at reducing obesity levels

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Assess levels of compliance with restrictions on multibuy deals for food high in fat, sugar or salt at specified retailersCarry out compliance checks and provide follow-up advice and guidance as appropriateMarch 2024

 

Objective - To ensure that food sold at catering establishments within the Borough is safe and accurately described

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Undertake project based work looking at particular identified products / trade sectors

Undertake allergens sampling project with follow up advice and guidance as required

Takeaway and restaurant sampling project looking at product description

March 2024

March 2024

 

Objective - To ensure that Trading Standards enforcement work is targeted effectively at businesses who are causing significant detriment to consumers and reputable businesses

ActionTargetsTimescale
Collate information on identified traders to ensure that intervention work is carried out when appropriate

Monitor complaints and instigate an intervention for those businesses with an unacceptable level of complaints

Complete a local intelligence data submission for the Regional Tactical Assessment

Liaise with, and task, the North East Regional Enforcement Team where appropriate, concerning unfair trading practices that have an adverse effect across the region

Ongoing

Quarterly

When required

 

Contributing to Public Health and Wellbeing

Objective - To ensure that local catering establishments are aware of their legal responsibilities with respect to food allergens

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Assess levels of compliance with allergen labelling requirements, especially for food that is prepacked for direct sale (PPDS)

Carry out compliance checks on PPDS foods and provide follow-up advice and guidance as appropriate

March 2024

 

Objective - To ensure that vaping products on sale within the Borough are safe and comply with legal requirements

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Assess the safety and compliance of vaping products on sale within the Borough

Carry out compliance checks on vaping products, with follow-up enforcement action as necessary

Provide information to School's Safeguarding Forum on requirements regarding the use and sale of vapes by children

March 2024

December 2023

 

Objective - To tackle the sale of counterfeit and illicit tobacco in order to disrupt organised criminal activity and assist in efforts to reduce smoking prevalence

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Use an intelligence led approach to disrupt the sale and distribution of counterfeit and illicit tobacco

Participate in Operation CeCe alongside HMRC and other regional TS partners

Undertake enforcement action against identified targets, utilising all enforcement options available

March 2024

March 2024

 

Objective - To reduce underage sales of alcohol, cigarettes, vapes and other age restricted products and ensure that all effective enforcement options are considered

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Undertake a programme of targeted test purchasing exercises of age restricted products with a young volunteerCarry out at least four intelligence led underage test purchase exercisesQuartley

 

Objective - To ensure that transport hauliers are complying with environmental weight restrictions in designated areas

ActionsTargetsTimescale

Check compliance with environmental weight restrictions in designated areas

Establish an online reporting tool so that residents can directly report concerns

Carry out a programme of compliance checks in designated areas

Carry out a joint exercise with Cleveland Police Road Traffic Unit

September 2023

March 2024

March 2024

 

Protecting the Vulnerable

Objective - To disrupt criminals who target the elderly and vulnerable in their own homes

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Work with other agencies including Police, HMRC and VOSA to target these offendersParticipate in organised days of action, such as National Rogue Trader Day and Operation Mermaid as well as in other initiatives such as the Banking Protocol

When required

 

Objective - To identify and support vulnerable consumers targeted by junk mail and other mass marketing scams

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Continue participation in referral arrangements with the National Scams Team (NST) to identify and support victims in Stockton-on-TeesIdentify, visit and support victims and submit monthly return to NST

Monthly

 

Objective - To raise awareness of doorstep crime amongst local residents

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Introduce further No Cold Calling Zones in suitable locationsConsider all requests for No Cold Calling Zones and action as appropriate

When required

 

Objective - To support vulnerable consumers suffering with dementia who are being targeted by nuisance telephone calls

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Participate in NTS campaigns to help protect dementia sufferers using available call blocking devicesLiaise with Adult Safeguarding as appropriate to allocate and provide any available devices to the most vulnerable

March 2024

 

Objective - To raise awareness of current consumer protection issues and increase the profile of the Service

ActionsTargetsTimescale
Attend and/or organise consumer events as and when required

Contribute to the work of Stockton's Home Safety Association

Attend events and provide information on doorstep crime, scams and other consumer protection issues, as required

March 2024

When required

 

Objective - To raise awareness of fraud issues and related scams

ActionsTargetsTimescale
To publicise messages around scams awareness and fraud prevention whenever possible

Continue sharing and disseminating key anti-fraud messages via social media channels, Stockton News, digital inclusion projects and other appropriate means

Participate in the local Multi-Agency Approach to Fraud (MAAF) initiative

Ongoing

March 2024

 

Providing an Effective and Efficient Service

Objective - To ensure that the Trading Standards Advice Service continues to provide high quality advice and information

ActionsTargetsTimescale

Review the operation of the Advice Service particularly with regard to opening hours and method of operation

Carry out a satisfaction survey of Advice Centre customers

Carry out a review of the operation of the Trading Standards Advice Service

A minimum satisfaction index of 90%

September 2023

March 2024

 

Objective - To inform stakeholders with regard to service priorities and related performance

ActionsTargetsTimescale

Produce report summarising performance in 2022/23

Produce and circulate an annual performance report for 2022/23

September 2023

 

Objective - To increase the number of qualified Trading Standards Officers, using a 'grow your own' methodology, to help future-proof service delivery

ActionsTargetsTimescale

Completion of stage 1 of the Professional Competency Framework by the Trainee / Apprentice

 

Commencement of stage 2 of the Professional Competency Framework by both existing Enforcement Officers

Undertake and pass stage 1 Trading Standards law paper

Successful completion of the Regulatory Compliance Officer apprenticeship

Commence work on both the weights and measures and the food standards portfolios

Undertake North East Weights & Measures Training Programme

July 2023

March 2024

June 2023

March 2024

 

Objective - To ensure that the Service's regulatory processes comply with the requirements of the new Food Standards Delivery Model

ActionsTargetsTimescale

Review the Service's regulatory processes in light of the requirements of the new Food Standards Delivery Model

Carry out review and implement necessary changes to comply with the new Food Standards Delivery Model

March 2024

 

Objective - To ensure that officers have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their functions effectively

ActionsTargetsTimescale

Implement training programme

An average of 20 hours of training per officer per year, to include Food/Feed officers for competency requirements

March 2024

 

Objective - To recover, where appropriate, the financial benefit that an offender has obtained from criminal conduct

ActionsTargetsTimescale

Carry out financial investigations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, when appropriate

Carry out financial investigations when required and assist external regulatory partners as appropriate

March 2024