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Crime Crime National News Neath Port Talbot South Wales

Multi-Agency operation targets rogue traders

Officers of Neath Port Talbot Council’s Trading Standards, Waste Enforcement and Licensing departments have stopped and spoken to a total of 65 traders as part of a joint operation against rogue traders.

Partner organisations included South Wales Police, Dyfed Powys Police, Natural Resources Wales, the DVSA, Mid and West Fire & Rescue Service and HM Revenue and Customs.

During the stops, as part of the two-day Operation Crossfield, council officers advised on contracts and consumer rights and checked Waste Carrier and Scrap Metal licences.

At the same time, the other partnership teams carried out their own inspections on vehicle safety and ensuring vehicles were not running on illicit fuels. 

On-site checks were also conducted at waste management centres throughout the county borough.

Several vehicles were found to have serious safety defects such as worn tyres, unstable and unsecured loads and in one instance, parts of a vehicle were found to be hanging off and liable to detach. 

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Such vehicles were not allowed to be moved until they were repaired or made safe. 

South Wales Police also took positive action against drug and road traffic related offences during the operation.

Cllr Cen Phillips, Cabinet Member for Nature, Tourism and Wellbeing (with responsibility for Trading Standards and Public Protection matters) said: “These joint operations show how seriously the council takes Consumer Protection offences or fly tipping.”

When disposing of waste using those who trade in waste carrying, householders should always ensure they use reputable tradespeople who are licenced waste carriers as they may find themselves liable should any waste from their property subsequently be found to have been fly-tipped.

Regarding Consumer Protection issues, for work carried out by a tradesperson at a house that is more than £42 in value, traders are required by law to provide cancellation rights. This gives you 14 days for contracts to be cancelled so please don’t be pressurised into paying for work in your own home.

Also, please take time to consider what work is being proposed, get other quotes and do your research on a business before entering into an agreement. Do not pay the full amount prior to any work being carried out and arrange to make staged payments on large jobs.

Check claims of membership of trade organisations or approval schemes, or go through a trader approval scheme such as Buy With Confidence to engage a vetted trader.

Homeowners and businesses who have complaints about any traders they have contracted with, can call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1144 (welsh language) 0808 223 1133 (English language). More information regarding waste carriers including the waste carrier database, can be found via the Natural Resources Wales website Natural Resources Wales / Check for a permit, licence or exemption (Public Register)