Dangerous electrical leads seized in swoop

26 January 2012 in Community safety
One thousand laptop leads that could electrocute and cause fires have been seized in a swoop.

The leads, in a package destined for a house in East Ham, were confiscated at Stansted Airport this month (Jan).

It was a joint operation by Newham and Essex Trading Standards officers.

The leads did not have proper protection against live parts or proper insulation. A laboratory test on one sample, carried out for Trading Standards, revealed dangerous circuits and lack of safety markings.

Safety experts fear they could cause fire.

Trading Standards suspect these laptop chargers are circulating across the UK and Europe. Officers believe they are being imported illegally from China.

Cllr Unmesh Desai, Newham Council’s executive member for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: “Make no mistake these were dangerous leads. Computer users – many of them children – could have been put at risk.

“We take crime very seriously in Newham and this was a crime. We simply won’t tolerate it. It is totally unacceptable – and we won’t accept it.

“The prompt and proactive action by our Trading Standards service has ensured that unsuspecting users are not maimed or risk electrocution.

“These were destined for East Ham and could have been circulating across the borough. Thanks to our officers this has been nipped in the bud. We will remain ever vigilant for other dangerous items. Our enforcement never stops.”