Eyes and ears needed to help catch rogue traders in Bucks

Community champion Kirsty Latto with leader Chris Holden
Community champion Kirsty Latto with leader Chris Holden

An exhibition of how the county council is cracking down on rogue traders has been held at County Hall.

Dodgy doorstep salesmen, shops selling counterfeit alcohol and cigarettes and farmers not looking after their livestock properly are just a handful of the problems trading standards have to tackle.

To help do this, volunteer ‘community champions’ are being recruited to be the eyes and ears of the organisation around Bucks.

Martin Phillips, cabinet member for community engagement, said: “If you live in a community you should have some responsibility for that community and pride in it.

“These volunteers want to go out there and make a difference.

“We need people out there to direct us to where the problems are.”

Kirsty Latto has been working as a volunteer with trading standards for several weeks.

She is law undergraduate and hopes to use that experience to take witness statements from people who have been scammed.

Ms Latto said: “It’s good to know that assisting trading standards can have a positive impact on people’s lives.

“It can make such a difference to vulnerable individuals who have been the target of a scam to have help sorting things out, and it’s gratifying to know that I’m part of the work to stop the rogue traders whose activities so often ruin people’s lives.”

The trading standards team are after volunteers with an interest in helping build safer communities.

Community champion leader Chris Holden said: “This might involve helping research local issues such as rogue traders, taking part in ‘mystery shopping’ exercises, making test purchases in the search for counterfeit goods or increasing community awareness of doorstep trading scams.”

To find out more about becoming a community champion contact Bucks County Council.