Local authorities support crackdown on markets selling fake goods
Nine out of ten councillors and local authority officers would support changes to the law to crackdown on the sale of fake and counterfeit goods at local markets and car boot sales, according to a survey of 235 delegates at the recent Local Government Association Conference.
Evidence of links to organised crime and a loss to industry of approximately £10 billion per year - with its impact on business rates and local jobs - has persuaded three-quarters of councillors and their officers that counterfeiting and piracy needs to be viewed as a ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ serious crime, relative to other offences.
The finding explains their overwhelming support for changes to the law which would together amount to the UK’s strongest ever crackdown on fake and counterfeit goods, including CDs, DVDs, spirits, toys, clothing, tobacco and other branded and designer goods:
· 94% of respondents said they would support measures to make market organisers liable for knowingly allowing the sale of fake and counterfeit goods at their markets.
· 84% of respondents said they would back similar measures to make landowners liable if they knowingly allow illicit trade to continue on their property (although in some cases these are local authorities themselves).
Lavinia Carey, chair of the cross-industry Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy, which commissioned the survey, said:
“It’s encouraging to see the importance which local policy makers so obviously attach to counterfeiting and piracy. The criminals behind such offences are rarely engaged solely in this activity, with a recent survey on behalf of the Alliance identifying links to triads groups, the Russian mafia and paramilitaries.
“The feedback we had from LGA Conference delegates and the results of our survey shows there is widespread support for our campaign to persuade the Government to legislate in these areas, cutting off the opportunities for criminals to dupe unwitting consumers into supporting criminal activities and, as often as not, ending up with substandard and even harmful goods as a result.”
Janet Anderson MP, chair of the all-party intellectual property protection group, added:
“With the overwhelming support of councillors and officers for such legislation, the All-Party Parliamentary Group will be pressing the Government to include this legislation in the next Queen’s Speech.”
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