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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans for keeping our communities safe

Trading Standards

trading standards

Welcome to the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Trading Standards home page. We are here to protect the interests of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council consumers and businesses. This web site is part of our service to our traders and residents but you are free to browse this site no matter where you live.  

 

About us

The Trading Standards Service is an important regulatory function of local government. We carry out a wide range of duties with the aim of protecting consumers. This protection is provided in relation to virtually the full range of personal and household expenditure, from the purchase of daily necessities to the arrangement of a mortgage.

Our work also aims to bring about a fair trading environment in which reputable and responsible business activity, essential to the success of the local economy, can succeed. Our duties and responsibilities require the investigation into areas of clear criminal activity such as consumer fraud, counterfeiting, intentional and reckless infringement and malpractice operating to the detriment of consumers and reputable traders.

The impact of our work on local communities is considerable. Some of the more obvious benefits are:

  • protecting consumers from the supply of substandard, falsely described and unsafe products;
  • protecting consumers from false or misleading information about prices and credit;
  • protecting honest businesses from unfair competition; protecting both consumers and businesses from a variety of marketing malpractices; and
  • informing and empowering consumers by providing advice and information on legal rights and remedies.

 

Priorities

We aim to promote a fair and safe trading environment to protect consumers and allow reputable businesses to thrive.

We aim to do this by providing a Trading Standards Service that is responsive to the needs of the community, uses flexible and proportionate working practices and is committed to a drive for quality, review and continuous improvement.

We will strive to achieve these key aims through a number of service objectives.

Informed Confident Consumers

  • Improve consumer's access to service provision
  • Educate and empower consumers to deal with problems themselves
  • Consult with consumers
  • Respond to the needs of consumers

Informed Confident Businesses

  • Improve business access to service provision
  • Improve advice and assistance to business
  • Develop a strategy for consulting with business

A Fair and Safe Trading Environment

  • Inspection and sampling programmes
  • Investigations into trading malpractice
  • Project based enforcement 

 

Performance

Each year we set key activities and performance targets for the year ahead which address the needs and priorities of the users of the service. These priorities are identified through various methods including consultation surveys, analysis of request for service and results of proactive enforcement work. We monitor our performance on a monthly basis and produce half yearly performance reports. To view the performance reports select the appropriate |View| link below.

Our annual performance targets are outlined in our Service Delivery Plan. To view the plan select the appropriate link below:

Service Delivery Plan 2017 - 2018

Performance Report 2016 - 2017

Service Guide

Customer Charter 

 

Enforcement

We have adopted the Government's Concordat on Good Enforcement, which commits us to following fair, effective and consistent policies and procedures.

On occasions we have to deal with matters that may constitute a criminal offence, for which a range of actions may be taken against an individual, partnership or company. These matters will be investigated thoroughly to establish all the facts and where appropriate Officers will use their legal powers to enter premises, take samples, inspect and copy records, or seize goods and documents. On all occasions we will comply with the Human Rights Act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

At the end of our investigation a decision will be made whether to deal with the matter informally, or whether to follow a more formal course of action that may ultimately lead to prosecution. How we reach that decision is explained in our Enforcement Policy for Regulatory Services. 

 

Calibration Services

We jointly fund the Tees Valley Measurement Metrology Laboratory with the other Teesside Authorities. The Centre provides a range of services to businesses. For further information visit the Tees Valley Measurement website.

 

Underage Sales and Illegal Traders

If you suspect a trader in your area is selling age restricted goods (such as alcohol, tobacco products, DVDs, video games or knives etc.) to people underage, please call 01642 526560 (manned during office hours with a voicemail out-of-hours) or email trading.standards@stockton.gov.uk. Our team will investigate your concerns, which may involve carrying out test purchases.

If you require any further assistance with regard to a complaint about a trader after visiting this site please complete our Complain about a trader online form.

To Report an illegal trader please complete our online form.

 

Doorstop Crime

The Doorstoppers And No Cold Calling Zones Scheme looks to reduce crime, and the fear of crime arising from doorstep callers, bogus workmen, high pressure salespeople, bogus officials and distraction burglary.

It is now well established that distraction burglaries and rogue trading are interlinked - all too often, the seemingly innocent doorstep seller is actually checking things out for a re-visit to carry out a burglary or distraction burglary.

Whilst this type of criminal behaviour can impact on anybody in any place, research shows that older people are particularly vulnerable, especially those living alone.

No Cold Calling Zones

The aim of these zones is to reduce the number of bogus callers, distraction burglaries and rogue traders operating in your area.

We have a procedure for assessing applications for new zones. This is based on legal advice from the Office of Fair Trading that the additional protection afforded to consumers by the introduction of a zone must be proportionate to any additional burdens this may impose on businesses. This approach has been agreed by Cleveland Police and Neighbourhood Watch.

New zones will be considered in suitable locations (i.e. not to large) with over 50% older or vulnerable residents. The majority of residents must also be in support of the proposal before the scheme can go ahead.  A complete list of the present No Cold Calling Zones can be found here.

Consumers can register with a number of preference services to assist householders to stop some direct marketing companies making such contact.

These include:

The Mailing Preference Scheme - Telephone: 0845 703 4599

The Telephone Preference Service - Telephone: 0845 070 0707

BT Privacy

If you are a BT customer, you can also register with the Telephone Preference Scheme through the BT privacy Service which, in addition will give caller display at no extra charge. This is a free service - Telephone 0800 916 5544 or visit the privacy section of BT website.

 

Neighbouring Trading Standards Services

Authority

 Telephone Number

Website

Darlington Borough Council

Town Hall

Feethams

Darlington

DL1 5QT

01325 388582

Darlington Borough Council

Durham County Council

Corporate & Legal Services Department

Consumer Services Division

County Hall

Durham DH1 5UY

0191 3833589

 Durham County Council

Hartlepool Borough Council

Public Protection Department

Trading Standards Section

Civic Centre

Hartlepool TS24 8AY

01429 523362

 

 

 Hartlepool Borough Council

 

Middlesbrough Council

Trading Standards Section

Environment Department

PO Box 99A

Vancouver House

Gurney Street

Middlesbrough

TS1 2QQ

01642 728002

Middlesbrough Council

North Yorkshire County Council

Trading Standards & Regulatory Services

Standards House

48 High Street

Northallerton

North Yorks DL7 8EQ

01609 780780

Ext 2546

 North Yorkshire County Council

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council

Neighbourhood Services Department

Trading Standards, Advice & Information Division

Redcar & Cleveland House

PO Box 86

Kirkleatham Street

Redcar TS10 1XX

01642 771203

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council

 

Satisfied with our Service?

We try to provide the best possible service at all times. It is so important that customers who use our services tell us how we are doing. They may be compliments, (for instance if you have found a particular service or member of staff helpful), ideas about how we could do things better or you may have a complaint. You can let us know your views by visiting our Commendations, Comments & Complaints section. Whatever your views are we welcome them and will use them to improve our services to communities.

If you require any further assistance on Trading Standards matters after visiting this site please complete our Online Information Request form.