Local authorities have been on the lookout for fake football kit over the past few months, and they have been cracking down on counterfeiters as kick-off to the World Cup approaches.
Derek Allen, executive director of trading standards body LACORS, said: 'Football fans should not play ball with these rogue traders. Counterfeit clothing damages local businesses, harms the legitimate suppliers of branded goods, and can leave buyers with poor quality imitations that fall apart after a few washes.
'Watch out for them at car boot sales and markets. Be suspicious of very low prices. Some fakes look very good, but many are not as well cut and are made from cheaper material. The markings and badges are often simplified or look wrong.
'England may want to score penalties, but dodgy traders won't. Anyone caught selling fake goods can have their stock seized. They can also be fined or even imprisoned.'
Recent trading standards activity includes:
- West Yorkshire Trading Standards seized over 1,000 shirts valued at£30,000 during raids in Bradford and Leeds. They swooped on clothing wholesalers in Leeds and Bradford to stop more than 1,000 shirts valued at£30,000 and England towels being sold across West Yorkshire. Officers said the goods were of high quality and could be sold for£20 to£25.
- Dorset CC Trading Standards caught a rogue trader caught with fake England shirts at a car boot sale. Christopher Jackson, 47, from Southbourne, pleaded guilty to eight offences of possessing counterfeit items. He was ordered to pay£750 in costs after officers seized more than 800 items of fake football apparel.
- Trading Standards Officers from Staffordshire CC, working with Umbro and Police raided a house in Newcastle under Lyme and seized World Cup goods that included hundreds of fake polo shirts.
1. LACORS aims to promote excellence in regulatory services. LACORS is a local government central body which seeks to make a major contribution to the development of high quality, consistent and coordinated local authority regulatory services across the UK. Visit www.lacors.gov.uk for further information.
2. LACORS work involves:
* Driving improvement and raising the profile of regulatory services
* Providing specialist advice and guidance
* Promoting good practice
* Lobbying on behalf of local government
* Leading and partnering initiatives to enhance reputation
3. LACORS assists local authorities in the delivery of:
Animal health and welfare
Environmental protection of air, land, water, noise Food hygiene, safety and standards Health and safety enforcement Licensing and gambling Private sector rented housing Trading standards