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'Name and shame' proposals assessed

A Government taskforce plans to present next summer the findings of an investigation into the consequences of naming and shaming unscrupulous traders.

The Trading Standards' task group will consider proposals to publicly identify the worst offenders and allow the press to publish criminal records and a 'top 10' of poor traders.

But, Tony Allen, Trading Standards Institute research and development manager, cautioned that the proposals could conflict with Human Rights' legislation.

"On the one hand, consumers are entitled to be protected from unfair treatment and fraud. However, traders are entitled to have their privacy protected," he said.

"We are facing calls from consumer groups to provide more information on rogue traders and we need to be in a position to respond."

The task group is expected to produce interim findings for consideration by Trading Standards next spring and published at its conference in June.

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