Boot sales 'attracting criminals'

CAR BOOT sales are being taken over by criminals, counterfeiters and rogue traders, trading standards officers said yesterday, writes David Nicholson-Lord.

There would need to be 'more lofts than people' in Britain if households were the sales' only source of goods, according to a paper from the local authorities' co-ordinating body on food and trading standards.

Most boot sales are now commercial ventures: even a small one can generate pounds 10,000 worth of business.

Among products found at sales have been dangerous appliances, unfit food, things stolen from cars and garden sheds, illegally imported duty-free goods and counterfeit toys, videos and clothes.

One council in south Wales tested 16 electrical appliances and found all were illegal.

The paper urges a requirement for traders to identify themselves and powers to seize counterfeit goods.