Trading Standards service compliance and enforcement policy

The enforcement options available to us

There are a variety of sanctions available to us where there is a breach of legislation. They include:

  • indirect action - including referral to another local authority or enforcement agency for information and, or action
  • verbal or written warning - where relatively minor noncompliance is identified and further action is not deemed appropriate. The warning will contain suggestions for corrective action differentiating between what is required and what is "best practice". It will also set a time frame
  • Statutory Notice - notice prescribed in law. Only to be issued in accordance with specific statutory provisions
  • Fixed Penalty Notice - may be issued in the case of minor infringements when our officers are working with other agencies who have the power to issue them
  • forfeiture – may be sought in conjunction with a prosecution or separately where legislations permit
  • taking possession of animals – when a veterinary surgeon certifies that "protected animals", as designated under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, are suffering unnecessarily or are likely to suffer if there is no change in their circumstances we may take them into our possession. We may apply for Orders to recover the costs involved including transportation, accommodation, feeding, veterinary treatment and disposal
  • undertaking - may be sought to correct or prevent further noncompliance on a voluntary basis or a statutory basis through the Civil Courts
  • enforcement Orders - may be used to deal with criminal or civil breaches of law in accordance with the Enterprise Act 2002 and are sought through the Civil Courts
  • licence reviews – may be sought where the holder's fitness to hold the licence is brought into question
  • simple cautions - may be used to deal with criminal breaches where Court action is deemed inappropriate having regard to the guidance contained in The Code for Crown Prosecutors. A copy of the code is available from the Home Office website.
    • prosecution - may be used to deal with criminal breaches where deemed appropriate having regard to:
      • our prosecution and enforcement sanctions policy
      • The Code for Crown Prosecutors

In appropriate circumstances, sometimes working in partnership with other agencies, we may seek alternative penalties or sanctions. These alternatives may include:

  • recovery of assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2001
  • disqualification of company directors under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986
  • victim compensation