A Devon and Cornwall police officer is among the winners of the Trading Standards Heroes Award after helping brind a rogue trader to justice after he targeted elderly customers used threatening and intimidating behaviour and allowed asbestos and other waste to be dumped across the South Hams countryside.
PC Rachel Ward was recognised for her bravery in bringing the trader to justice following a lengthy investigation by Devon and Somerset Trading Standards.
30-year old Daniel Ward from Yorkshire had performed sub-standard work at a number of victims’ properties, overcharged them and dumped building material including asbestos in nearby countryside.
Dan Ward targeted elderly customers including an 88-year old frail widow and a gentleman who was very hard-of-hearing. At one property Ward charged the elderly occupant £700 for a damp proof coating, when he simply coated some of the house wall below the damp proof course with paint.
He used threatening and intimidating behaviour when demanding payment, causing great distress to the vulnerable victims.
To make matters worse, he allowed asbestos and other waste to be dumped across the South Hams countryside, which the judge described as the 'scourge' of Devon.”
Once arrested Ward denied being involved, but he was picked out in an identification parade and his fingerprint was found on the cheque book of one of his victims.
PC Rachel Ward and Trading Standards Officer David Keys were recognised for their outstanding work in bringing the case to court.
Cabinet member with responsibility for Trading Standards in Devon, Roger Croad said “I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the residents, officers and police who all played their part in this investigation.
The event which is hosted by the Trading Standards Institute recognise acts of bravery and hard work which make an outstanding contribution to consumer protection.