A CAMPAIGN highlighting the dangers of buying counterfeit goods in the run up to Christmas is being promoted by Newport City Council.

The ‘Fake Free Newport’ campaign in partnership with the Intellectual Property Office, aims to spread awareness on how selling counterfeit goods and services damage the local and national economy.

This includes millions of pounds being lost each year alongside risks to the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of UK workers and business owners, the council state.

The campaign was set up in 2016 to help the public shop at honest local businesses and will return this year with council staff visiting Friars Walks on Saturday to give advice to shoppers.

In the past 12 months, Newport council's Trading Standards officers have dealt with hundreds of complaints about counterfeit goods.

These range from illegal media streaming devices and make-up to clothing, perfume, memory cards and bags.

The threat of counterfeit goods have been encountered across may sales platforms including eBay, Facebook, traders premises and the internet and Newport council state it is likely fake goods will be more prevalent during the festive period.

Newport council’s cabinet member for licensing and regulation, cllr Ray Truman, is urging the public to think carefully about buying counterfeit goods.

“What may appear as a bargain could end up costing people a lot more," he said.

"Maybe that cheap mobile phone charger you bought could cause a fire, risking the lives of your loved ones."

Scores of Newport traders have already signed up to the Fake Free Newport campaign this year including businesses based in Newport high street, Mendelgief and Spytty Retail Parks and Friars Walk.

Cayzers Menswear in Chepstow Road has also backed the campaign and has been in business since 1905.

Owner Peter Watkins said counterfeit products "destroy traditional brands and damage the brand names".

"They're never going to be the same quality as the brand make and if people start buying fakes then shops and business people all over the country are going to suffer.

"We have enough businesses closing as it is."

On the subject of buying counterfeit goods online, he added: "People are prepared to take the risk if it's a brand they're after and they take that chance. I personally wouldn't".

For more information on the scheme, visit: www.newport.gov.uk