Michelle is youngest TSO
Friday 14th October 2005
The UK's youngster trading standards officer has just taken up a post with Clackmannanshire Council.
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with a degree in Consumer Protection, Michelle McGinley (22) took up a trainee position with Stirling Council two years ago. Having achieved her trading standards diploma 'on the job' Michelle is now fully qualified and has been employed by Clackmannanshire Council. She is believed to be the youngest trading standards officer working in Britain.
"The job has such variety," said Michelle. "One day you can be making regular inspections to ensure a premises is selling full measures of whisky or storing fireworks safely and then the next you can be on a police raid discovering thousands of pounds worth of fake computer games and DVDs. It can be five different jobs in five days."
Michelle explained what first attracted her to the career. "My mum's an environmental health officer in East Dumbartonshire and I did work experience there when I was at school. I spoke to as many people as possible in the different departments and decided that trading standards was for me."
Just last week Michelle accompanied Central Scotland Police officers on a raid in Alloa when counterfeit goods including computer games and designer handbags with an estimated street value of £100,000 were recovered.
And last year Michelle experience her first raid when £10 million worth of counterfeit DVDs and CDs were recovered from houses across Forth Valley in one weekend.
Michelle said: "I would urge the public to think twice before buying what they think is a bargain. If the price looks too good to be true then there is every chance you are not buying the genuine article."
While employed by Clackmannanshire, Michelle is based in Stirling as Clackmannanshire Council has entered into a joint working arrangement with Stirling Council. Michelle is part of a team of 11 trading standards officers now providing an enforcement and advice service to both public and traders across the two areas.
Clackmannanshire's Trading Standards Team Leader Hugh Hamilton said: "With the modern demands on the service it was becoming impossible to keep up to speed with only two of us in the Clackmannanshire team. And as Clackmannanshire's only enforcment officer I was also easily recognisable to local traders, which is not ideal when trying to detect fake or unsafe goods. Now as part of a larger team we can ensure the best possible tranding standards service is being delivered to the people of Clackmannanshire."
Hugh explained that while the vast majority of enquiries to trading standards can be dealt with over the telephone, a member of the team can easily meet members of the public or traders face-to-face at a time and place of their convenience.
If you have a problem with goods or services you have bought or wish to report someone who is selling fake or unsafe goods then please contact Trading Standards on 0845 277 7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.