In all aspects of its business, The Birmingham Assay Office works closely with Trading Standards to protect the consumer, and in November, The Office was pleased to welcome Mr. Chris Neville, Acting Head of Trading Standards and Birmingham City Laboratories and Councillor Neil Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee.
Trading Standards is responsible for enforcing the law regarding Hallmarking, and in the past year, of 12 Hallmarking offences investigated, 11 have resulted in prosecutions. The Birmingham Assay Office plays a significant role in such cases, assaying the articles under investigation and then providing a Section 9 Witness Statement which is used in court.
Highlighting the Hallmarking operation, The Laboratory, AnchorCert and SafeGuard, Chris Neville said: “The Birmingham Assay Office is an important part of consumer protection, ensuring that the public can be guaranteed that articles of precious metal are what they are claimed to be. From its origins, The Birmingham Assay Office has developed into a number of areas that have expanded its consumer protection role substantially.”
In his report to the Public Protection Committee, Councillor Eustace told his colleagues at Birmingham City Council that he found the visit ‘fascinating’. Describing The Birmingham Assay Office as a ‘highly professional organisation’, he stressed the importance of working closely with Trading Standards.