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Picture shows Neil Howlett from the Community Safety Partnership and David Cross from Medway Council's Trading Stndards Department

Picture shows Neil Howlett from the Community Safety Partnership and David Cross from Medway Council’s Trading Stndards Department

Medway residents are being given help to deal with unwanted ‘cold callers’ who tout for business at the front door.

The council’s Trading Standards service is promoting an initiative which helps people to deal with the high pressure selling tactics.

They have produced free ‘No Cold Calling Homes’ packs containing advice and information, and stickers warning that residents do not buy from door-to-door sales people. These have been funded through the local Community Safety Partnership. Read More

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winepour Warnings have been issued to a number of restaurants, take-aways and off-licences in Medway after an operation led by the council’s licensing team working with police, HMRC, Environmental Food Safety and Enforcement teams. A number could face prosecution.

Twenty premises in River Ward were found in breach of licensing conditions – mainly not having a policy in place as set by the Home Office to prevent sales of alcohol to under age drinkers and not carrying out sufficient staff training. Some of the restaurants were in breach of the rules on drinking measures and were providing customers with unmeasured wine.

Five premises were found to have poor hygiene standards in their kitchens and one was issued with a prohibition notice because the electricity supply was found to be in a dangerous condition.

HMRC also seized more than 400 litres of alcohol from two off licences. Read More

Medway Trading Standards are urging residents to draw up a list of traders they might need in a home emergency situation well before disaster strikes.

Posing as a consumer with a home emergency, the Medway Council team are conducting weekly online checks of more than 400 web links of nine types of home emergency trades from blocked drains to locksmiths.

Their websites are checked to see if response times have been exaggerated and if traders claiming to be local are genuinely based in the Medway area.

But despite searching for local traders officers found that only around 16 per cent were actually based in the Medway area with some being as far away as North Wales.

Several traders are also subject to further investigation for falsely advertising they were members of trade associations that they do not belong to including gas and electrical safety schemes. More

docsMedway Council Trading Standards Service is alerting consumers to a scam aimed at getting local people to pay over the odds for identification documents – such as passports and driving licenses.

The warning follows complaints from customers who have unknowingly applied and paid for identification documents through a commercial enterprise – rather than directly to official issuers such as the DVLA or Passport Office. More

A shopkeeper was caught allegedly hiding illegal tobacco in Special K cereal boxes, during a sweep by Medway Trading Standards and Kent Police. Three retailers were found with suspected illicit cigarettes hidden in their stores during the raids using sniffer dogs – including in specially installed secret compartments. Read More

Fruit head dollDangerous chemicals that could cause cancer, deformities in unborn babies and infertility in men, have been found in dolls for sale in Gillingham. The fruit-head dolls – featuring, among strawberry, apple, tomato and blackcurrant heads – were subject to a Europe-wide recall notice because they contain Phthalates. The toys fail to comply with the regulations on toy safety. Phthalates are banned in children’s toys and can be dangerous if ingested. The ‘fruit-head’ dolls have been found to contain the chemical phthalates. This is particularly hazardous in toys with small parts. More

PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE TO FRIENDS, FAMILY AND NEIGHBOURS

Medway Council has issued a warning about missed parcel delivery cards that could end up costing people hundreds of pounds this Christmas.

Cllr Mike O’Brien, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Contact, is highlighting the risks especially as, in the build up to Christmas, many people will have packages ordered for presents due to arrive on doorsteps.

The bogus delivery company is posting calling cards through letter boxes, informing the resident that they tried to deliver a parcel but there was no one to take it.
The name of the company on the card is PDS or Parcel Delivery Service. The card gives a premium rate telephone number for the resident to call to re-arrange another delivery time.

But as soon as the call connects to this number, it is diverted to an automated recording and the resident will be charged £315 for the call. It is thought the company is based in South America.

Cllr O’Brien said: “We advise anyone receiving one of these cards that they should report it on 101 number to the police. Of course they should not call the number because the premium rate will mean their phone bill could be as high as £300 or more. At this time of year when people are ordering gifts online to be delivered to their homes, they could easily fall into this trap if they aren’t aware of the risks.”

This week sees a series of events to help warn people about the dangers of loan sharks throughout Medway and the Hoo Peninsula.
Medway Council’s Trading Standards Team and The England Illegal Money Lending Team will be warning local people to turn away from illegal money lenders and encouraging anyone who has fallen into a loan sharks trap to speak out.
The officers and Illegal Money Lending Team’s mascot ‘Sid’ the Shark will be out and about this week (w/c 24 Sept). More

With the London 2012 Olympic Games fast approaching, Medway Council Trading Standards Team is advising residents and business to be careful they are not ripped off.

The Team is asking consumers to be very wary of any unsolicited emails or telephone calls offering London 2012 Olympic tickets and they can check whether a business is an Authorised Ticket Reseller on the 2012 website: More

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