chapter  4
53 Pages

CONSUMER PROTECTION AND THE CRIMINAL LAW

It will be noticed that the statutory arrangements for the enforcement by public authorities of these strict liability offences to protect consumers in general have a substantial degree of similarity (see Chap 28). Further, considering redress for individual consumers, there are significant practical advantages in first examining the above criminal provisions, which frequently arise on the same facts as a civil right of action. First, it may be possible to persuade the appropriate public authority, e.g. the local authority (see para 3.05), to bring the criminal proceedings, so obviating costs and stress for the consumer (see para 3.18). Second, on conviction, it may be possible to persuade the criminal court to award compensation to the

1 See generally Cartwright, Consumer Protection and the Criminal Law (2001) Chap 3; Thomas and Clarke, Encyclopedia of Consumer Law. For statistics on supplier convictions and consumer complaints, see the Annual Reports of the OFT.