An increasing number of consumer complaints have been reported to trading standards officers in Hertfordshire, new data shows.

Between January and March last year (2020), the number of consumer complaints highlighted with the county’s trading standards officers was less than 1,000.

But during the same period this year (2021) that figure was 1,439 – an increase of almost 50 per cent.

The data is included in a report due to be considered by a meeting of the county council’s resources and performance cabinet panel on Wednesday (June 9).

And that report also highlights the nature of those complaints over the past 12 months.

“There has been a steady increase over the year in the number of scams or misleading claims being reported to the service since people have spent more time at home during the pandemic,” says the report.

In addition, the report also highlights the 453 contacts made with the service by businesses, in the three months between January and March.

And it says Covid-related ‘contacts’ over that period included those seeking advice relating to business closures, premises restrictions and personal protective equipment (PPE).