Christmas spending in the UK is set to reach £22billion this year (*1) and criminals will be on the prowl looking to take a share of the profits, cashing in on consumers on the lookout for a bargain.

Cambridgeshire County Council officers work out and about across the county to support local and market traders and to protect residents from counterfeit and unsafe goods. The scale of organised intellectual property crime and counterfeiting in the UK is estimated to be at least £90million every year (*2).

While a cheap deal on the must-have gift may seem appealing in the moment, it is a false economy that can have frightening consequences. The cost- and corner-cutting approach of most counterfeiting operations mean the product is likely to be poor quality, with a significantly shorter lifespan than that of a legitimate product, and it will not meet required safety standards.

Nikki Pasek, Cambridgeshire County Council's Head of Supporting Businesses and Communities said "At this time of year shoppers might be looking for a bargain "“ but they should be wary of counterfeit goods. We work tirelessly to keep consumers safe and ensure fake goods and other illicit items are not sold in our county whilst supporting legitimate businesses including those trading in our vibrant market places. We've worked with a number of markets this year to sign them up to the "˜Real Deal' initiative, a national charter which demonstrates commitment to safe and fair trading by the market organisers and traders. St Ives, Huntingdon and Ely markets are all part of the 'Real Deal' and we are currently working with market organisers and traders in Fenland with a view to including them in the new year."





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