Visits by Trading Standards Officers and Other Enforcement Agencies

The company will be visited, from time to time, by a number of officials from enforcement agencies. These visits, where announced, will either be merely routine or alternatively investigative. On either occasion the following approach should be adopted:

1. When they have announced who they are, immediately invite them into a suitable office or area away from the sales area. Be polite and courteous. If appropriate, offer them refreshment and then refer them to the appropriate manager. DO NOT enter into meaningful discussion or attempt to answer their questions. It is NOT your job and you CANNOT speak on behalf of the company.

2. The manager shall request and examine the officer’s credentials and then seek to provide every assistance where appropriate.

3. If the officer informs you that he/she suspects an offence may have been committed then he/she is entitled to examine and seize certain documents which are believed to be required as evidence in any proceedings. Refer to the Service and Repair Law Manual for officers powers or ring Lawgistics on 01480 455500. Remember that to refuse access to the documents the trading Standards officer, has power to inspect may leave you open to the allegations of obstruction.

You MUST make a note of the officer’s name and contact point together with details of the alleged offence. Ask for the exact required details/documentation that to be put in writing.

4. If you are further advised that an offence has been committed and the officer wants to carry out an interview with a representative of the company then take details of the alleged offence and immediately refer it to the appropriate Manager. Do NOT enter into dialogue yourself. You are not authorised to speak on behalf of the company. If in doubt ring Lawgistics. Under no circumstances should an interview be carried out immediately. These situations are always complex and sufficient time is needed to investigate and to obtain the relevant documentation.