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Counterfeit goods seized in joint operation

Wirral Council Trading Standards yesterday carried out an operation to deal with counterfeit goods.

In a joint operation with Merseyside Police and brand protection officers from Surelock, React and Liverpool Football Club, stall holders in Birkenhead Market were targeted as it had been reported that they were selling fake clothing and other products.

The seizure involved big name brands including Premier League football clubs, music merchandise and goods bearing the logos of Marvel Superheroes and Disney characters.

The operation was in response to complaints received from Brand Holder organisations who had confirmed that the products were infringing the rights of the copyright owners.

Selling counterfeit goods is a criminal offence under the Trade Marks Act 1994. These criminal activities undermine legitimate businesses and affects consumer confidence. Cheap clothing and products might seem harmless but they are likely to be low quality goods and/or unsafe. Caution also has to be made for counterfeit children’s clothing as the material could pose a potential choking hazard for small children.

Cllr Phillip Brightmore, Wirral Council Cabinet member for Environment, said: “Counterfeit products can defraud the customer along with damaging and weakening a brand’s reputation. Such products can put customer safety at risk as they are not tested to high UK standards.

“The supply of counterfeit goods can also be linked to serious, organised crime and the funding of illegal operations. This is not a victimless crime.

“The sale of counterfeit goods undermines genuine retailers who provide employment for local people. Wirral Council will support legitimate businesses and protect consumers by taking robust action against the suppliers of counterfeit goods and those who seek to sell them.”