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Crack down on loan sharks, rogue traders and dodgy dealers

Exposing loan sharks and rogue traders, investigating unhygienic restaurants and non-roadworthy taxis are just a few of the jobs highlighted in a new report which has been approved by Cardiff Council's Cabinet on Thursday, November 2.

The annual report for Shared Regulatory Services points to the successes achieved by officers from Cardiff, Bridgend and Caerphilly Councils which have joined forces to deliver services for trading standards, environmental health and licensing.

Councillor Michael Michael who is responsible for Shared Regulatory Services at Cardiff Council, said: "This report highlights the important work our officers do trying to keep people safe every day from cowboys and conmen.  This partnership, which has been running for three years now, is established and it shows how local authorities can work well together, delivering for residents across the region."

The partnership, called Shared Regulatory Services (SRS), has seen officers concentrate on food safety, public safety, private-sector housing safety and regulating licences.

Cllr Michael said: "In the past year more than 2,000 food premises were inspected to ensure their hygiene standards are up to scratch. That's 500 more premises inspected that the year before. More than 100 taxi drivers were referred to the licensing committee and 190 Stop Notices were issued.

"I'm especially pleased that 12 loan shark cases, involving sums of up to £641,000 were investigated and 134 victims who were given support were able to write off £357,000 worth of debt to these charlatans. The work Shared Regulatory Services carries out makes a real difference to people's lives and this report highlights that."

Report highlights include:

  • 840 licences were issued for houses of multiple occupation (these inspections ensure people who live in HMOs do so in safe conditions)

  • 61 shops were visited, testing alcohol and tobacco sales to volunteers under 18

  • More than 400 taxis were inspected to ensure they were in an adequate condition to be used on the road

  • More than 100 taxi drivers were referred to the licensing committee & 190 Stop Notices were issued to licensed vehicles which were unfit for use

  • Just under £23K was given back to people who were conned through doorstep crime

  • 12 loan shark cases were investigated which involved £641,000. 134 victims were given support, writing off £357,000 of debt

  • 134 stray horses were removed from the highway, private and public land. The majority were rehomed through charities

  • 5700 complaints were dealt with in relation to noise and air pollution

  • More than 1312 cases of infectious disease were reported to SRS and 973 cases were confirmed through tests

  • Over 1600 licenses were issued for temporary or community events across the three local authority areas

  • Just under 1,700 people were educated about illegal money lending and £48,000 was taken from loan sharks and awarded to community based initiatives to raise awareness.  

  • 5700 complaints were dealt with in relation to noise and air pollution.