A MARKET has been raided in a Christmas crackdown on traders peddling fake goods.

The raid came at the Wednesday night market at Clitheroe auction mart as part of a county-wide clampdown which saw thousands of pounds worth of goods including clothing, footwear and the latest DVDs seized.

The operation, which also included seizures at car boot sales in Morecambe, was conducted by trading standards and Lancashire police in the run-up to Christmas in an effort to stamp out the sale of counterfeit goods.

Fakes taken included famous clothing brands Timberland, Lacoste, Nike, and Rockport and some of the latest film titles including Casino Royale, which is not officially out on DVD yet.

Trading standards officers confirmed the haul had a street value of around £30,000.

A number of traders are now being investigated by trading standards officials following the raids, last week.

Chief trading standards officer Jim Potts said: "Counterfeiting is an important priority for our service as we aim to maintain a fair and safe trading environment.

"For those businesses who do abide by the law it is a real concern to see that these traders are making money by offering shoddy products and avoiding the usual taxes levied on honest businesses.

"Counterfeit goods can be poorly made and even dangerous. And always be wary of offers that seem too good to be true, because they probably are."

Officers regularly seize goods of a lower quality than the genuine items. Films seized, for example, are often unwatchable, with poor sound and picture quality.

Genuine retailers will offer refunds on faulty goods but buyers at car boot sales run the risk of buying dodgy goods with no chance of getting their money back.

Around 60 per cent of those involved in the manufacture and sale of counterfeit goods are also involved in other organised crime including drugs crime, and terrorism.

Trading standards officers are warning consumers to be careful and if they suspect that goods being supplied may be counterfeit, to contact them via Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.