Thousands of potentially dangerous toys were seized in a crackdown on dodgy dealers in Wolverhampton this week.

Type=image;ImageID=5814;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Cllr Elias Mattu with some of the seized items;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=5815;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=One of the toys which was seized;TitleClass=strong;

The joint operation was carried out by officers from Wolverhampton City Council's Regulatory Services team and West Midlands Police as part of the Safer Nights campaign.

They removed from sale around 3,000 items, including glow sticks - or "luminars" as they are also known - and light up footballs, when they targeted street vendors selling items at the Christmas lights switch on event in the city centre on Wednesday night (26 November, 2014).

Many of the toys did not contain the CE mark - a legal requirement for all toys sold in the UK which demonstrates that they satisfy essential safety requirements.

While this does not necessarily mean that the toys are unsafe, it means that it cannot be demonstrated that their safety has been properly tested.

Many of the toys also lacked important details about the suppliers and also safety warnings - the vast majority of toys sold in the UK are safe and manufactured to the relevant European standard, but how a child uses a toy is very much governed by their age and parents are urged to take safety messages seriously.

A large quantity of other items including balloons, glow sticks and headwear, which did contain the CE mark, were also seized during the operation because their sellers did not have the correct traders' licences.

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "I am pleased that our Trading Standards team has taken prompt action to remove these potentially dangerous items from sale.

"The safety of residents is a top priority for the council and some of these items were of very poor quality, including the light up footballs which incredibly had nails or tacks instead of on-off switches.

"As they did not carry the CE mark, it is not possible to say whether these toys have been subject to the rigorous safety checks that all toys should undergo, and so if anyone has purchased one, they are advised to dispose of them immediately."

He added: "It is illegal to place on sale in the UK or any European Union member state products like toys which require CE marks if they don't have one.

"I'd urge everyone when they are buying toys from any retailer - to make sure that they have the CE mark on them."

  • released: Friday 28 November, 2014