Trading Standards uses ‘lethal weapon’ to bag top award
January 20, 2012 Leave a comment
Scooping a top award last night, Suffolk Trading Standards’ ‘lethal weapon’ in the fight against rogue traders was celebrated by hundreds at the prestigious UK Public Sector Digital Awards.
At a ceremony held at London’s Guildhall, the team won the award for ‘best use of social media’ for their project ‘social media – the lethal weapon against rogue traders’ and were also recognised nationally for ‘best example of citizen engagement’ as finalists in that category.
In September 2011, the team launched a ‘day in the life of a Suffolk Trading Standards officer’, with three days of Twitter updates providing a unique insight into the work of the team; from inspecting goods at the Port of Felixstowe to preventing cold callers.
Suffolk Trading Standards’ Twitter profile now has nearly 900 followers, and is frequently updated with information and advice to keep people safe. Its regular blog complements these short updates with detailed information, handy tips and expert advice from lead trading standards officers.
Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Protection, said; “It is staggering just how many people regularly use social media, and I’m delighted that we have been recognised for our innovative approach. I am very proud of the team’s efforts to harness this new technology to effectively communicate with people and businesses in Suffolk.
“Our fast-growing online community is a potent way to keep ahead of unscrupulous rogue traders, who will stop at nothing to con people out of their money.”
Sarah Nagra, Community Engagement Officer, is at the leading edge of the team’s approach to using social media. She said; “We are thrilled that our efforts to protect Suffolk communities were recognised last night. We called our entry the ‘lethal weapon against rogue traders’ as this really is one of the most powerful tools we have for keeping one step ahead in our aim to protect the public.
“Twitter, Facebook and the like offer a brilliant platform for people to tell us when they think an advert, salesperson or scheme might be untrustworthy, and helps us share this information with others.”
To sign up for regular trading standards’ updates and to be directed to the Twitter and Facebook pages, visit: www.suffolk.gov.uk/BusinessAndConsumer/TradingStandards