Merton Council

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Trading standards enforcement policy

Scales of justice

Our enforcement policy helps to promote a consistent and effective approach to regulatory inspection and enforcement.

We aim to work in partnership with businesses providing support and guidance to secure compliance and seek to reduce the regulatory inspection burden on our local businesses.

We comply fully with all laws and guidance that govern the way enforcement action is carried out (for example. Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, Data Protection Act 1998, Human Rights Act 2000, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000).

When do we prosecute?

In general it is our policy to bring prosecutions:

  • when the offence is a serious one in the context of the legislation being enforced: or
  • the offence is committed or has continued contrary to advice, warnings or notices given by us.

It must be recognised that each individual case is unique and will be considered on its own facts and merits. However, there are general principles that will always apply: We will be fair, independent and objective. Personal views are not taken into account. Ethnic or national origin, sex, religious beliefs, political views or sexual orientation do not influence any decision. Similarly, decisions are not affected by improper or undue pressure from any source.

What do we consider?

There are 2 stages in any decision to prosecute. The first stage is the evidential test. In recommending or deciding upon legal proceedings, we have to be satisfied that there is enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. If the evidential test is passed, the second stage is the public interest test.

A prosecution will usually take place unless there are public interest factors tending against a prosecution that clearly outweigh those in favour. Although there may be public interest factors against a prosecution, the prosecution may still go ahead and those factors will be put to the court for consideration when sentence is being passed.

Want to know more?

Look at the full text of our enforcement policy.

Contact us

We welcome any views, comments or concerns that any residents, businesses or enforcement agencies have with regard to the content or application of our enforcement policy.

Trading Standards
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

Email: trading.standards@merton.gov.uk
Tel: 020 8545 3025

Consumer Advice

The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

This page was last updated on Wednesday 25 March 2015

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