City council officers ‘bag’ thousands of pounds worth of fake goods
THEY look like the real things, they feel like the real thing…
But don’t be fooled by these flashy fakes because what seems like a load of high-end designer gear is actually a batch of bad bags.
And thanks to officers from Liverpool City Council’s Public Protection Team, they’ve been taken off the streets and are destined to be destroyed.
The team took part in a special operation looking for fake items for sale last October. They swooped on the haul of hoax handbags which were being sold at The Bag Shop, within St John’s Shopping Centre.
The haul included rip-off versions of big name brands like Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
City Council Public Protection Officer Jenny Davies explains: “The bags were being sold for between £20 and £30 and on first inspection look quite authentic, but if you look a little bit closer they are actually very poorly made. Some of them have started to lose their clasps and other items so are pretty much unusable.
“Because they are fake, we know very little about their origins, so they could contain materials that are flammable or otherwise unsafe.”
Whilst the bags were being sold at a fraction of the cost of their genuine counterparts, officers believe the haul would be worth as much as £18,000 if they were real.
Jenny said: “These bags were being sold in the run up to Christmas so people may have thought they were getting a real bargain but they are not genuine and clearly not built to last.
“It’s an old adage but we would like people to be aware of the fact that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.”
Liverpool City Council Cabinet Member for Street Scene, Cllr James Noakes, said: “Everyone loves a bargain but we want shoppers in Liverpool to be aware of the potential pitfalls of buying counterfeit goods. In this instance it was bags but it could be clothes, electrical items, perfume, watches – the list goes on.
“Whatever the item is, they are often of bad quality and may not have not have been through the same rigorous safety checks as the legitimate items, so they could be unsafe. We would urge everyone not to be tempted by fakes, because the attraction of getting something cheap could end up costing you dear.”
You can report fake items through the city council’s website: www.liverpool.gov.uk and search for ‘consumer protection’ or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.