Fake clothing haul worth £20,000 seized in Stevenage and Knebworth during Sonisphere festival

The Sonisphere 2014 festival's main stage at Knebworth from the air. Credit: National Police Air Ser

The Sonisphere 2014 festival's main stage at Knebworth from the air. Credit: National Police Air Service –Boreham - Credit: NPAS – Boreham

A haul of fake branded clothing and accessories – with an estimated retail value of £20,000 – have been seized during Sonsiphere music festival.

The counterfeit goods were recovered by Hertfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards department which worked alongside police during the three-day event at Knebworth Park.

The fake goods were being openly sold in and around the Knebworth House estate and Stevenage Railway Station, with many black T-shirts printed with various trademarks and artwork of bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, The Ramones, Kiss and The Clash.

No arrests have been made due to the seller’s co-operation but Hertfordshire Trading Standards is continuing its investigation which may result in further action.

Once the case is concluded, the T-shirts will either be de-branded and recycled if possible, or if not destroyed.

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Richard Thake, cabinet member for community safety at the county council, said: “Some people may consider selling fake T-shirts as a low-risk ‘soft’ crime, but offenders face unlimited fines or up to 10 years in prison. This not only demonstrates the folly of committing such a crime, but the seriousness of the breach in law.

“Selling fake goods damages legitimate businesses, and the profits are often used to fund more serious organised crime. That cheeky chappie on the market stall is just the tip of a very nasty iceberg.”

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Members of the public can report sales of counterfeit goods to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.

Businesses in need of advice should contact Hertfordshire Trading Standards’ dedicated line on 01707 281401.

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