More than 5m Brits have purchased goods from shady traders in licensed premises, such as pubs and bars, generating a black market worth £1.5bn.
According to research released today from Churchill Home Insurance, 14 per cent of pubs have discovered unlicensed traders selling goods on their premises in the last year. However, those found selling shady items were only ejected from the premises in just over half (56 per cent) of cases and barred in under a quarter (23 per cent) of incidences.
Meanwhile, 13 per cent of people would turn a blind eye as to whether goods were stolen if they wanted to buy something from an unlicensed trader and the price was low enough.
Londoners are by far the most likely to be tempted by a dodgy deal, with 38 per cent of residents admitting they had bought items from unlicensed traders, with food, jewellery and clothing being the most popular purchases picked up. By comparison, in the West Midlands and the North West, the regions with the joint-second highest proportion of people who had purchased shady goods, just 21 per cent said they had done so.
“The desire to bag a bargain has created an environment where it is easy for burglars to dispose of stolen goods and the public may be unwittingly helping to perpetuate local crime,” said Martin Scott, head of Churchill Home Insurance. “If something is offered at a cheap price in the pub, remember it could well be stolen and you could be prosecuted for handling stolen goods.
“We should all stop and think, if it’s too good to be true, it may well be stolen.”