Fairytale Of New York Pogues/Kirsty MacColl
1 September 2012, 08:00
Fake hoodies, sweatshirts, jeans, trainers and other items of clothing have been set on fire to show how Consumer Watchdogs in Hertfordshire are cracking down on the selling of counterfeit items.
Approximately 25,000 fake goods were seized in Hertfordshire last year; the county council says it takes a zero tolerance approach to counterfeit goods and has demonstrated that as Trading Standards officers, fire crews and councillors watched a number of confiscated items go up in flames. Sometimes it is possible to remove the labels from fake goods which have been seized and donate them to a charity, but in cases where this isn't possible, there are destroyed by incineration to ensure they cannot get back into the market.
Watch the destruction of a small sample of fake hoodies, jeans and trainers seized by Hertfordshire County Council below:
Speaking to Heart Radio at the demonstration, Hertfordshire Community Protection Manager Guy Pratt, says many of the items his officers seized have the fake copies of brand marks or logos taken off - and if after that stage the clothes are still serviceable the items will be given to charities. But some fake items simply cannot be recycled or given to charity so have to be destroyed: "Fake sunglasses for example will not protect your eyes from the sun - they may say they have UV protection, but if they are counterfeit items, there's a very high chance those glasses will not protect your eyes. Fake vodka can contain ethanol or winter anti-freeze, will can be lethal - even small amounts can kill you. Fake car-parts like brakes - can often fail unexpectedly, and can also be deadly."
Mr Pratt added that for many items of fake goods - "they have to be destroyed to stop the recycling of criminal profits - with the items going back on sale - which can frequently fund other criminal activity, including drugs."