The UK had seen a six-fold rise in the number of counterfeit and potentially dangerous electrical goods seized in the past four years due to surge in demand for "branded" designer headphones and gadgets such as hair straighteners.
Figures obtained from local councils and Border Force, the organisation charged with patrolling the UK's borders, showed that the value of counterfeit electrical goods seized had increased from £2.6 million in 2009 to £15.7 million in 2012.
The same period had seen budgets for trading standards – council departments responsible for the identification and prosecution of counterfeit sellers on a regional level -cut from £85 million to just under £70 million due to cost cutting.
The data was made available in response to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act by the Co-operative Electrical, which was concerned over the volume of counterfeit – and often dangerous – electrical goods now flooding the market.
2009, local councils prosecuted 372 people for the sale of counterfeit electrical goods, a figure that fell to 245 in 2012.
According to The Co-operative Electrical managing director James Holland, there were numerous issues with counterfeit electrical goods, the main ones being that they would not work or that they posed a safety risk as a result of shoddy manufacturing that was not subject to the same standards of genuine products.