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Students to go undercover

02 September 2009 @TeessideUni


Two students are set to become undercover consumer watchdogs after important links were forged between a Tobacco Control Project for the North East Trading Standards Association (NETSA) and the Consumer Law team at the University.

The NETSA Tobacco Control Project team has agreed to sponsor the University’s Consumer Law Conference on Tuesday 8 September and provide a guest speaker.

In addition, two final year students from the BSc (Hons) Consumer Law and Forensic Investigation degree will be involved in investigative work for the project’s team and use this experience as part of their studies.

John Whisson, course leader for the degree, met with Richard Ferry, Manager for the NETSA Tobacco Control Project, to ask him to speak at the conference.

The Project also has involvement with the region’s police forces and HM Customs & Excise. It aims to control the selling of tobacco products to young people and prevent the selling of counterfeit tobacco products, from the Tees Valley right up to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Richard also agreed to be a sponsor for the conference and offered placement opportunities to students for a number of live projects, donating funds to reimburse the students for costs and expenses. The students’ identities will remain secret due to the nature of their investigative work.

Looking forward to welcoming students Richard said: ‘I’m looking forward to the University’s students joining our team in the next academic year as they clearly have an interest in the subject.

‘We hope they’ll be able to research areas that we don’t always have the time to look at and get some really good background information.

‘This experience could continue to develop their interest in trading standards work if they choose it as their eventual career path.’

A great opportunity John Whisson added: ‘This is a great opportunity for the students to be involved in live projects and they dovetail in nicely with their ultimate goal of being enforcement officers in Trading Standards departments.

‘Naturally our students will be fact finding, rather than being involved in enforcement work, but it is an excellent opportunity for them to be involved in the process and the contact with Trading Standards could give them valuable experience to put on their CVs. We also hope to have our second year students involved in the future.’

The Consumer Law Conference on Tuesday 8 September is aimed at Trading Standards staff, businesses and students who are about to start the third year of their studies at the University. Other speakers include a representative from Derbyshire Police and a lecturer from the University’s Digital Forensics team.