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20 August 2012, 15:52
Suffolk will get nearly £400,000 to protect the UK borders from unsafe and illegal goods coming into the country from abroad.
SUFFOLK HAS WON a major bid to protect the UK’s borders from unsafe or illegal goods coming into the country from abroad.
Over the next two years, Suffolk will receive almost £400,000 of government funding to host the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for the UK’s border controls, monitoring non-food products arriving from outside the European Union.
Suffolk Trading Standards secured the bid based on their extensive experience in this field. It means the Suffolk team taking a national role to ensure the best possible security measures are in place to protect the public from unwelcome imports.
Councillor Colin Spence, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said; “This is wonderful news, and this high profile success positions Suffolk at the heart of border security for the country when it comes to keeping out unsafe goods.
“It builds on our world-class work with partners at the Port of Felixstowe, where our team’s concentrated surveillance work prevents thousands of items entering the country, from potentially dangerous phone chargers to fireworks. I am extremely proud of the team’s success.”
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is providing the two-year funding, a large part of which will be used to develop an intelligence hub, based in Suffolk. This will collect and analyse information from other agencies to identify which products carry the greatest risk to public safety. This information will inform border controls across the UK so that security teams know what to look out for and can intercept suspicious consignments before they leave ports and airports.
Over the coming months, Suffolk Trading Standards will take on a national role by working with their counterparts and other agencies around the UK’s borders. They include Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the UK Border Force (UKBF) and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
Earlier this year, Suffolk Trading Standards received government funding for its product sampling and testing at the Port of Felixstowe, and is representing the nationwide trading standards community by hosting an e-crime intelligence hub on behalf of the East of England Trading Standards Association to prevent online fraud.