Tom Swarbrick gives take after raid on US-style candy and souvenir shops on Oxford Street

13 October 2022, 12:31

Tom Swarbrick gives take after raid on US-style candy and souvenir shops on Oxford Street

By Sam Sholli

Tom Swarbrick has given his take, after a raid on US-style candy and souvenir shops on Oxford Street.

Westminster City Council yesterday said that a crackdown on suspected fake goods being sold from US-style candy and souvenir shops in Oxford Street had "netted around in £215,000 in suspected fake goods".

"Council trading standards were part of a multi-agency team supported by the police which went to two addresses on Oxford Street," the council also said.

Westminster City Council has branded it "the largest haul to date from operations targeting candy and souvenir shops".

Cllr Adam Hug, leader of Westminster City Council, said: “The latest raid on candy and souvenir stores has netted £215,000 of suspected fake and unsafe goods - from illegally strong vapes to designer fakes.

"It is part of an ongoing campaign by the City Council to ensure people on Oxford Street get what they pay for. This was one of a series of multi-agency operations supported by the Metropolitan Police which allows us as a local authority to keep taking effective action.

“We all know there has been an explosion of these stores on Oxford Street. We are currently investigating 30 candy and souvenir stores for what we believe is business rates evasion in the region of £8 million.

"The reality is these stores are a threat to the status and value of what is supposed to be the nation’s premier shopping street."

Tom Swarbrick also spoke to Cllr Adam Hug yesterday on his LBC show.

He asked Cllr Hug: "Finally councillor, what do you think it says about London, about Britain, that what was once the jewell in retail's crown being situated on Oxford Street may well be taken up by a lot of sham shops that are tax-dodging and who knows what else?

Cllr Hug responded: "It's not a great sign for London, but ultimately we need support at a national level to help crack down on this.

"[That's] because ultimately - exposing who's running these things, holding to them account for what they owe, holding them to account for the goods that they're selling - is the way we help turn this around, as well as making sure they're opportunities to fill those spaces with shops that really want the opportunity on the nation's leader high street."

Following the exchange, Tom said: "I think someone somewhere could put together a narrative that starts with the candy shops that are popping up on Oxford Street and ends with the position that this country finds itself in."

He went on to say: "Right in plain sight...where those household name brands that you knew and loved were once situated, now there's just the vapours of something owned by someone somewhere that's actually sort of up to no good."

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