Trading Standards - our responsibilities

Central Bedfordshire Trading Standards

Trading Standards are responsible for enforcing over 100 pieces of legislation, covering a wide range of business sectors and practices, these include:

  • rogue trading, scams, fraud and money laundering
  • fair trading
  • product safety
  • animal welfare, animal disease control measures and biosecurity
  • animal feed safety
  • licensing of petroleum storage and explosives premises
  • underage sales
  • illicit tobacco
  • weights and measures

What Trading Standards can do

We receive thousands of complaints and enquiries every year through our partners the Citizens Advice and from other various agencies. We prioritise the most serious cases where we may take action and use the others to help us to plan prevention work.

We look at a number of factors to help us to decide on which cases we will take action. We recognise that while most people want to comply with legal requirements, some will operate outside the law (both intentionally and unintentionally).

We have a wide range of options available to us from giving advice to a business about their legal obligations and providing a timescale for compliance, through to investigating businesses with a view to legal action. When we investigate a matter we must be sure that there is enough evidence to use in court and that the investigation would be in the public interest. This may result in issuing a Caution, seeking injunctions or full prosecution.

All enforcement work is carried out in accordance with our Enforcement Policy.

We also provide a wide range of advice to businesses and we also inspect them to ensure they are trading fairly, based on risk ratings and intelligence we have gathered from a variety of sources.

We support and promote the Buy With Confidence scheme which is a directory of local approved businesses who agree to comply with the terms of the scheme.

What Trading Standards can't do

We are not able to investigate or take action on all matters reported to us. We prioritise our resources to tackle the issues which cause the most detriment to local businesses and consumers.

There are also other things we can’t do, listed below.

Give consumer advice

If you need consumer advice or if you have a consumer complaint, contact our partners the Citizens Advice consumer service for professional advice. Call 0808 223 1133 (freephone), 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, or use their online form.

If Citizens Advice believe that your complaint may require investigation by Trading Standards, they will refer it to us. In such cases we may contact you for further information. Even if we do not investigate it further, your complaint may provide useful local or national intelligence so we would encourage you to report any consumer issues to Citizens Advice.

Obtain redress on your behalf

Consumers have rights if they pay for faulty goods or a substandard service. Our partners the Citizens Advice consumer service will give you professional advice and assistance on your rights and how to obtain appropriate redress. This may require you to take the matter to a civil court.

We are not able to obtain redress on your behalf and we are not able to pursue cases in the civil courts for you.

Provide feedback on what you have reported to us

After you have reported a matter to the Citizens Advice consumer service we will only make contact with you if we need further information or cooperation. We will only provide feedback if formal action has been taken to deal with the matter you reported.

Report something to Trading Standards

You can report a problem with a business or product to us by contacting our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline. They will provide you with advice if needed and share the information with us. All reports are treated in the strictest confidence and you can remain anonymous if you wish.

Report a business