Bracknell businesses fined thousands by Public Protection Partnership

OUT-OF-DATE food, forklifts and unsafe freezers — these things have all led to hefty fines for local retailers and residents over the years. The penalties have come following investigations from the Public Protection Partnership, a Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing services organisation shared across Bracknell Forest, West Berkshire and Wokingham. Here are a few examples of the PPP’s prosecutions.

Huge fine for Tesco Warfield Back in December last year, Tesco’s Bracknell North superstore was served a whopping GBP536,000 fine following an incident in July 2017. A ten-year-old boy was electrocuted after coming into contact with a faulty electrical supply in a freezer, leaving him burnt and with pains down his right leg.

The PPP investigated following the incident, and found ‘procedures were not followed properly’ and the fault was known to exist prior to the event. Prosecution followed and Tesco was fined GBP268,000 each for two health and safety offences.

READ MORE: Tesco fined after boy, 10, is electrocuted Fly-tipping penalty Two Maidenhead locals were forced to cough up almost GBP2,000 after being caught fly-tipping in Bracknell Forest.

The duo were convicted in October 2020 having plead guilty to dumping waste at Malt Hill in Warfield. READ MORE: Maidenhead pair fined for fly-tipping in Bracknell Forest They were prosecuted following an investigation by the PPP in late 2019 and forked out GBP1,890 as a result of their actions.

Bracknell businesses fined thousands by Public Protection Partnership Accepting guilt, the couple explained they had loaded the vehicle with the intent of taking it to the local waste centre the next day, gone out for a meal but while driving, felt the car was overloaded and so they needed to offload that. High-pressure sales

A Bristol company was fined GBP2,500 in April 2019 after an incident involving a Wokingham homeowner. Two years earlier, in June 2017, the homeowner called out Idrains Southern Ltd after experiencing non-urgent drainage issues. The company charged the homeowner GBP630 for their work, which failed to rectify the problem, before quoting another GBP6,000 for a soakaway.

They said the GBP630 would be deducted if the soakaway offer was taken up. But this ‘limited-time-offer’ deal was found to be a banned practise under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Following a PPP investigation, the company was fined GBP2,500, ordered to pay GBP170 victims’ surcharge and GBP3,715.50 toward prosecution costs.

Booze sold to under-age teen A shopkeeper who sold a 15-year-old a bottle of Koppaberg was fined GBP330 in July 2019 following a sting operation from the PPP. The teenager, who was working with the service voluntarily, bought the booze from BB Wines on Broad Street in Wokingham in 2018.

READ MORE: Booze sold to under-age teen at Wokingham off-licence Parmit Singh Kapoor was convicted having failed to ask the teenager for ID or for proof of age. Accepting guilt, Mr Kapoor explained he was on the phone with his sister who was very upset at the time.

Builders’ forklift incident Jubilee Building supplies limited was fined GBP60,000 in July 2019 after an accident at its warehouse on John Nike Way in Bracknell. The incident saw a member of staff drive into the anke of another employee while manoeuvring a forklift truck in the warehouse area.

READ MORE: Bracknell firm fined GBP60,000 after forklift incident The injured employee sustained ligament damage to his ankle and was taken to Frimley Park Hospital for treatment. A PPP investigation led to the company pleading guilty to three health and safety offences and a further order to pay GBP10,000 for prosecution costs.

Out of date food Tesco Warfield made headlines (again for the wrong reasons) earlier in 2020 after Trading Standards found 46 out-of-date food items at their Bracknell North superstore. This included 30 expired garlic baguettes.

Bracknell businesses fined thousands by Public Protection Partnership Officers found these items during an inspection in October 2017 but it was only three years later that the supermarket was fined GBP160,000 for the health and safety breaches. READ MORE: Tesco fined for out of date food at store

Pleading guilty, Tesco emphasised at the hearing that they have good procedures in place and these offences were from local failures in compliance with those procedures, which were promptly investigated and rectified. In November 2020, the Co-Op in Crowthorne was fined GBP40,000 for similar offences. An October 2018 inspection resulted in officers finding 17 expired items, the majority of which were in the fresh meat and fish sections.

An investigation by the PPP led to the supermarket coughing up an extra GBP6,000 in prosecution costs, too.

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