A NATIONAL campaign to stop shoppers being duped into buying fake designer goods and other illicit items has been backed by Cirencester Town Council and Cotswold Markets.

They have signed up to the Real Deal scheme with Gloucestershire County Council, which is designed to promote legal sellers at Cirencester Market.

Cllr Gary Selwyn, lead member for community services at Cirencester Town Council, said signing up to the Real Deal meant customers and traders could have confidence in Cirencester’s markets.

He added: “Counterfeit and illicit goods are often of inferior quality and, in most cases, unsafe as they have not gone through the same rigorous safety checks that legitimate goods go through. Their sale can damage consumer confidence and legitimate businesses, because they infringe existing intellectual property rights.”

Becky Coles, Community Services Manager at Cirencester Town Council, said: “We’re really proud of our market’s reputation and want to reassure residents, visitors and businesses that we’re committed to maintaining a safe and fair environment in which to shop and trade. It is important to us that customers know they can shop here with confidence.”

Patricia Lennon, national manager of the Real Deal campaign, said: “We are delighted to welcome Cirencester Market into the Real Deal. By signing the Charter and displaying the Real Deal logo, they are joining with hundreds of markets across the country in saying ‘no’ to counterfeits and rogue traders.”

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member responsible for trading standards at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “It is important to ensure legitimate traders are protected and those who feel they can make easy money are deterred at the earliest stage.

“This is a great initiative that will see us working together to protect consumers and local businesses from the harm caused by the trade in counterfeit goods.”

Trading Standards can be reached on 0808 223 1133.