ROGUE traders who risk public safety will be caught and dealt with, a Stafford councillor has said after a dealer was caught selling defective tyres, some with nails and screws in them.
The raid by Trading Standards and police on a dealership in Staffordshire came following a series of ten site visits across the county checking up on businesses that sell used tyres to the public.
County councillor Mark Winnington told the Newsletter that in nine out of ten of the premises visited, no issues were found.
“But at one business, Trading Standards found a number of issues, including tyres with defective treads and other problems,” he said. “One tyre even had a nail through it, so on Friday morning trading standards officers, along with the police, went along to raid the premises.”
Mr Winnington said officers from Staffordshire Police accompanied trading standards because of resistance encountered on similar operations in the past.
Two men, one aged 27 from Swadlincote in Derbyshire and another aged 30 from Cradley Heath in the West Midlands were arrested during the operation under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
Both have been bailed, pending further inquiries, to a date in December.
“There were tyres in there that were ten years old, as well as some that were defective in terms of tread and then other ones with nails and screws in them,” said Councillor Winnington.
He said traders who adhered to the rules and sold used tyres to the public in the right way had nothing to fear from Trading Standards.
“But in situations like this, there are two problems; firstly nobody should be ripping off the public. And secondly and more importantly here, is a matter of safety.
“Lives were being put at risk,” he said. “If you are a rogue trader we will catch you and we will deal with you.”
Chief Inspector Jane Hewett, commander of Stafford Borough Local Policing Team (LPT), said: “Friday’s operation was the latest joint operation between police and Trading Standards to crack down on poor quality items being sold to consumers.
“Our colleagues at Trading Standards will now continue with their inquiries,” she said.
“Members of the public should be aware that they will ultimately lose out by buying such products.”
Anyone with information about poor quality and/or illegal products being sold should contact Staffordshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously.
Charlie Harvey, partner at Stafford Tyres welcomed the crackdown by Staffordshire County Council and Trading Standards and said he thought it should go further.
"It’s a good thing, they should have more of them.
"They should come regularly and go through all of the stock making sure it’s all suitable for resale to the public," he said.
"It means people can have confidence in coming to you to buy tyres and they can know that someone else, with authority, has confirmed that what I’m telling them about me and my business is the truth.
"Honestly, it’s horrifying what some people are doing and the tyres that they are selling to make money out of the public." he said.
“The council should have the power to go into any dealership whether they are new or part worn,” he said.
“They should make it a day a month, with everyone, for the council to go there and give them their knowledge and advice about what is and what isn’t acceptable."