Potentially lethal crossbows sold as ‘toys’ seized by Rochdale Borough Council

Date published: 08 September 2021

Crossbows which were sold alongside non-compliant toys have been seized by the trading standards team at Rochdale Borough Council.

Over 1,000 non-compliant items – including illegal vapes, tobacco and alcohol - were seized in total after officers discovered them on sale without the legally correct labels and warnings.

Nine crossbows were seized after being sold as ‘toys’.

Traders were given two weeks to make products compliant or take them off sale, but only those which didn’t pose an imminent risk. However, none the shops provided receipts to prove the items were purchased from a reputable source, leading Rochdale Council to seize the goods.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Our trading standards team have seen an increase in non-compliant products since the pandemic, including illegal vapes, toys, tobacco and alcohol.

“These crossbows, which were being sold alongside the toys, could cause serious harm or even lead to a fatality if used incorrectly or for antisocial purposes.

“Many of the shops after the two weeks still had the non-compliant toys for sale so the team used their statutory powers to seize the toys, along with any stock they had in storage on the premises.”


Crossbows were seized after being sold as 'toys'


The local authority has issued tips to ensure the purchase of safe toys:

  • Where possible, buy your toys from reputable sellers. You may pay a little more but that’s often to ensure the product has had quality and safety checks.
  • Cheap counterfeit versions of products, especially toys, are often poor quality and can easily break or, in some cases, be dangerous.
  • Look for the CE mark or UKCA mark (CE mark will be replaced with the UKCA mark from January 2022).
  • Ensure that the toy is age suitable for the child receiving it and marked with the necessary warnings and instructions. The voluntary Toy and Hobby Association ‘Lion Mark’ is also an indicator that the product complies with legal safety rules.
  • Check the toy for loose pile fabric/hair or small detachable parts that could choke a young child as well as sharp points and edges, or finger traps.
  • Be careful when buying second hand toys. These often come without their packaging or instructions
  • Button batteries power many small toys and can be dangerous if swallowed. Batteries should be in a secure screwed-down flap/compartment.
  • Toys should have the name and address of the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is outside the EU details of the EU importer. From 31 December 2021 EU details will not suffice and a UK importer name and address would be required.

If you see any dangerous items such as these being sold, please contact the trading standards team in confidence at trading.standards@rochdale.gov.uk

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