Responding to a report by Age UK, which says that cuts to trading standards budgets are putting older people at greater risk of becoming victims of fraud, a spokesperson for the Local Government Association said:
“Councils want to do all that they can to protect local residents from rogue traders and fraudsters who ruthlessly exploit some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“But as the report rightly points out, significant reductions in councils’ budgets – amounting to £16 billion less from core government funding between 2010 and 2020 – have led to significant cutbacks in these vital services, which are on the frontline in trying to prevent this terrible crime.
“Trading standards services do all that they can, working with local Safeguarding Adults Boards and other agencies, to prioritise activities that protect older and vulnerable people, but with fraud levels increasing, it is extremely difficult to support everybody who needs it.
“It’s therefore vital that government ensures trading standards services are properly resourced, and stops giving them additional duties on top of their core role of protecting residents and stopping rogue traders.
“Government must also sure that funding is available for preventative measures, such as call blockers, and that banks put in place measures to prevent unusual transactions by vulnerable customers.”