TACKLING counterfeiting continues to be a major task for Fife Trading Standards.

Whether it be cigarettes or alcohol, Trading Standards work hard to ensure that counterfeiters are caught and the work done has received a national award.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) introduced the Awards for Excellence in Anti-Counterfeiting in 1994 to recognise enforcement work in the fight against counterfeiting.

Candidates are nominated in each category and an awards panel of ACG members make the tough decisions that determine the worthy winners.

Fife Council Trading Standards Intellectual Property Enforcement Group (IPEG) were delighted to be amongst this year’s winners, announced at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Conference.

The group were presented with a Highly Commended Departmental Award for Excellence which was collected on their behalf by Lead Trading Standards Officer, Lyndsey Radke.

Roy Stewart, Senior Manager Protective Services commented: “I’d like to congratulate the IPEG group on their award. It comes as recognition for the work the group carry out in the fight against Intellectual Property infringement in Fife.

Roy continued: “The team was also recognised for achieving the first Facebook seller’s page take down by a Scottish authority (in liaison with the National Trading Standards E-Crime Team)”.

Other criteria of the award included:

Demonstrating excellence in 5 joint proactive initiatives, having worked with partners including HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Trading Standards Scotland, Police Scotland, Fife Council’s Food Safety Team and Stirling Council’s tobacco detection dog and handler.

Investigations into counterfeiting in Fife and reporting to the Procurator Fiscal.

The IPEG group aims to raise awareness of the ongoing problem of counterfeiting and its consequences, as well as protecting legitimate business and brand owners.

Counterfeiting is no longer limited to fake designer handbags and clothing. Cigarettes, alcohol, electrical products, power tools, food, medicines, toys and sports equipment are also copied with potentially dangerous consequences for consumers.