Camden and Barnet councils seize hundreds of fake designer goods in Christmas crackdown
PUBLISHED: 15:30 22 December 2014 | UPDATED: 15:56 22 December 2014
Fake designer handbags and watches normally worth hundreds of thousands of pounds were among hundreds of items seized in a Christmas crackdown on sales of counterfeit goods in Camden and Barnet.
Purses, handbags, watches and sunglasses branded with designer labels such as Prada, Armani and Gucci were some of the items seized in a raid on a unnamed shop in Golders Green.
Trading standards officers have also been busy at work at Camden Town’s world famous markets, where more than 50 plastic sacks of goods were confiscated from retailers.
Shoppers have been warned to be on their guard for counterfeit items when buying last-minute presents or hitting the Boxing Day sales.
Cllr Jonathan Simpson, Camden Council cabinet member for community safety, said: “Christmas is an expensive time, and particularly in these difficult financial times every penny counts when it comes to buying gifts for friends and family.
“It’s great for our local economy that so many people come to Camden to shop, and we do everything we can to make it safe and enjoyable for shoppers and business owners.”
Officers from Barnet Council worked with police and experts in designer brands to find out whether the goods on sale at the raided shop were fake last month.
The haul of clothing and accessories totalled 150 bags containing several hundred items.
They will now be examined by experts to confirm whether the goods are counterfeit or genuine. If real, the items would be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Cllr Dean Cohen, chairman of Barnet Council’s environment committee, said: “Counterfeit products are often of an inferior quality and have a negative impact on the legitimate local economy.
“People should be wary of anything that looks like a designer bargain as it is probably not what it seems.”
Since April 1, Camden Council has seized 13,483 fake items and is embroiled in several legal cases against business owners selling counterfeit goods. Retailers found selling counterfeit goods can be fined or face legal action.
Concerned shoppers can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06, or visit camden.gov.uk/tradingstandards.