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Report a business
If you want to report a business for a criminal offence, please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service by telephone on 08454 040506 or via the website.
Citizens Advice Consumer Service will refer the matter to the relevant Trading Standards service. Trading Standards investigates criminal offences which take place in their area. We take enforcement action in line with our Enforcement Policy.
We will take into account the costs of compliance for business by ensuring that any enforcement action we take or remedial action we require is proportional to the risks. We will, as far as the law allows, work with business and individuals so that they can meet their legal obligations, without unnecessary expense.
We will carry out our duties in a fair, equitable and consistent manner. Whilst officers necessarily exercise judgement in individual cases, we will have arrangements in place to promote consistency, including liaison with other authorities and enforcement bodies. Our duties will also be carried out with full regard to the City Council's Equality and Diversity Policy.
Enforcement options may include:
- Compliance advice
- Written warning
- Legal notices
- Fixed penalty notices
- Work in default/cost recovery action
- Seizure/intervention notice
- Formal caution
- Prosecution or other legal proceedings.
In some circumstances matters may be referred from or to another agency for enforcement action. Our staff will liaise and may take joint action with other Council departments and/or external organisations in order to achieve enforcement aims.
Deciding whether to prosecute
Before deciding whether a prosecution will be taken against a business or an individual, consideration will be given to a number of factors including Central Government guidance and the Code for Crown Prosecutors. These factors, which are not listed in order of significance, will include the following:-
- The seriousness of the alleged offence;
- The history of the party concerned;
- The willingness of the business or the individual to prevent a recurrence of the problem and co-operate with officers;
- Whether it is in the public interest to prosecute;
- The likelihood of success of the prosecution;
- Whether any other action (including formal caution) would be more appropriate or effective.
The rating of the various factors will vary with each situation under consideration.