Falkirk Council's Trading Standards team have been recognised for their work intercepting unsafe goods coming through the port of Grangemouth.
They were judged runner up in the ‘Alternative Activities for Maritime Ports’ award by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) as part of a UK government scheme to detect and deter unsafe imports.
Officers worked in partnership with a number of other agencies to lead an intelligence-based approach to intercepting faulty, illegal and potentially dangerous goods.
Their work means consumers across Scotland are being better protected from unsafe products, including faulty children's scooters.
Pictured: the port of Grangemouth, where officers conducted checks 'on the ground'
The Trading Standards team conducted background and physical checks on the ground ensuring that the products met relevant safety standards and legislation.
Over a six-week period, 30 containers were targeted and resulted in stopping unsafe items including:
- 600 adult scooters and 800 child scooters
- 3,600 telescopic and 300 step ladders
- 500 cordless drills
- 500 tyre inflators
The intelligence the team gathered at Grangemouth was shared with other partner agencies and Trading Standards teams across the UK allowing them to adopt best practice in dealing with the UK-wide issue.
Councillor Stacey Devine, spokesperson for Public Protection said: “Over 95% of the imports targeted by Trading Standards were intended for the Scottish marketplace.”
“The work that Falkirk Council’s Trading Standards team carries at Grangemouth port is really important for protecting the public and ensuring unsafe goods are detained and destroyed.
“The fact that their contribution has been nationally recognised demonstrates the value of this work.”
Kirstie Crosson, Trading Standards co-ordinator explained: “These products did not meet UK safety standards and were considered unsafe to anyone who potentially used them.
“We seized telescopic and step ladders that would not take their maximum weight and kick scooters, including children's, where the handles contained an excessive amount of chemicals that may harm the health of children, causing possible damage to their reproductive system.”
“We carry out regular inspections in Grangemouth and will continue to work with agencies across the UK to protect consumers.
Note to editors
The OPSS funded a project involving Suffolk County Council, Thurrock Council, Southampton City Council, and Falkirk Council with the challenge of exploring/engaging in alternative methods for detecting, deterring, and disrupting imports of unsafe goods aligning with Government’s Best Borders by 2025.
The judges recognised the project for changing business behaviours around importing unsafe consumer goods by collaborative working with different stakeholders. The authorities regularly met to share experiences and best practice, fed into national policy, and supported other ports to adopt the learning.