Fake goods seized at Bescot Market

A total of 2,000 counterfeit goods with a street value of £20,000 were seized during a police raid at Walsall’s Bescot Market.

Fakes 3 PM 19

A total of 2,000 counterfeit goods with a street value of £20,000 were seized during a police raid at Walsall’s Bescot Market.

Five people were arrested during the raid at the popular Sunday pitch.

Fake DVDs, Ugg boots and handbags were among the items seized.

The pre-planned raid was part of Operation Verve, which aims to tackle criminality in the run-up to Christmas.

Four men aged 17, 19, 40 and 45 and a 21-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of selling goods bearing a false trademark. They have all been bailed pending further inquiries.

Police, trading standards officers and workers from the Federation Against Copyright Theft were all involved in the crackdown.

Sgt Paul Talbot, of Walsall police station, said: “We are extremely pleased with the results this weekend.

“Five people have been helping us with our inquiries and more than 2,000 suspected counterfeit goods have been seized.

“We wanted to tackle this problem especially with the run up to Christmas where people may be out looking for a bargain and can be tempted by the apparent low prices of these goods.

“What people do not realise is that the products are often of an inferior quality and buying the goods promotes and funds crime.”

Fake clothing, DVDs and jewellery are said to be flooding the Black Country and Staffordshire in the festive rush.

Surveillance of pubs and car boot sales has already been stepped up, while officers are tracking internet auction sites.

Brian Jones, lead enforcement officer at Walsall Council’s trading standards department, said: “This was a police led operation that had been planned for some time.

“The focus was on people selling illegal goods at Bescot Retail Park. We were also supported by the Federation Against Copyright Theft because, originally, the concern was mainly around DVDs.”

He added: “The message to people who sell counterfeit goods is clear, we will be constantly on your trail, if you operate in the town we will be there waiting.

“And customers who buy these items be assured you are getting a product of inferior quality which also negates your consumer rights.”