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Coventry’s Trading Standards team is still working hard to protect the public from unscrupulous behaviour from individuals and businesses during this difficult time.
The number of complaints the team has received have almost doubled in the last few weeks with the everyday issues of faulty goods and mis-selling now being joined by many COVID-19 related issues such as unfair pricing, premises being open when it is alleged they should be closed, social distancing within open premises, employees being made to go into work in non-essential businesses and COVID-19 related scams.
All of the team are hard at work undertaking lots of COVID-19 related work contacting businesses, sending letters, preparing more formal action, if required as well as the ongoing, everyday workload.
The Licensing Team is also receiving complaints that relate to allegations regarding licensed premises trading outside of the regulations (such as pubs having lock-ins) and premises that are allowed to trade, not observing adequate social distancing measures and appropriate hygiene precautions.
In terms of licensing enforcement, the Licensing Team is currently working in partnership with Coventry Police Licensing and Neighbourhood Teams, who visit the premises when a complaint is received. The Licensing Team has written to every licensed premises in the city, providing them with the appropriate advice regarding business closures and social distancing, in order to support businesses and help secure compliance with COVID-19 regulations.
Cllr Abdul Salam Khan Deputy Leader, Coventry City Council, said: “Like a lot of public services Trading Standards are having to respond to the knock-on effect of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The team is working really hard and has received twice as many complaints in recent weeks as it would usually deal with. These vary from numerous pricing complaints to allegations about premises being open when they should be closed.
“The nature of the complaints relate to things like unfair price increases during the COVID-19 crisis; businesses still being open when it is alleged they should be closed; and COVID-19 related scams.
“Our message to residents and businesses is to stick to the national and local guidance. To continue to be vigilant where scams are concerned and to let Trading Standards know if they have concerns about businesses flouting the instructions set out.
“This is a very difficult time for everyone, and the vast majority of people are following the advice and guidance in order to protect the NHS and save lives, but our Trading Standards Team will investigate complaints where necessary.”
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