Counterfeit designer goods were being sold openly on the market at Appleby horse fair today as police looked on and trading standards seemed to be nowhere in sight.

MailOnline discovered eight stalls selling suspected knock off goods including designer handbags, sunglasses and clothing.

The stalls all appeared to be doing a roaring trade as customers snapped up goods being sold for a fraction of the retail price of genuine designer items.

The market is a central feature of the historic annual horse fair which attracts over 40,000 visitors including 30,000 travellers, and effectively takes over the market-town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria.

The vast majority of the stalls in a huge field on the outskirts of the town are legitimate, selling everything from household goods and caged birds to horse riding accessories and childrens’ toys.

At one stage a reporter watched as two Cumbria policer officers went to speak briefly to staff on two of the market stalls selling apparently suspicious items, but left after only a few moments.

Police officers speak to a member of staff at a market selling counterfeit designer items at the Appleby horse fair

Police officers speak to a member of staff at a market selling counterfeit designer items at the Appleby horse fair

The horse fair attracts over 40,000 visitors including 30,000 travellers

The horse fair attracts over 40,000 visitors including 30,000 travellers 

The market based in Cumbria is a central feature of the historic annual horse fair

The market based in Cumbria is a central feature of the historic annual horse fair

Eight stalls are suspected to be selling knock off goods including designer handbags, sunglasses and clothing

Eight stalls are suspected to be selling knock off goods including designer handbags, sunglasses and clothing

As the officers walked away after earlier patrolling around the market site, the reporter asked if the goods for sale appeared to be genuine, and one of them replied with a smile: ‘I’m not sure. I have no idea’.

A woman stallholder at the market was selling a range of fake bags, purporting to be Mulberry, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Chloe, Burberry, Fendi, Gucci and Vivienne Westwood.

The reporter watched a teenage girl pay £35 in cash for a black Vivienne Westwood branded bag which was hanging at the back of the stall.

The woman on the stall then reeled off her price list, telling the reporter that Chanel bags were £45, while small Fendi bags and Burberry bags were £55.

When the reporter asked: ‘I take it they are not quite genuine’, the woman laughed and replied with a smile: ‘No’. She giggled and added: ‘I don’t think anything is on this fair’.

But the woman insisted that the range of Waterford crystal including picture frames for sale on her stall was all genuine, saying: ‘That’s all real.’

Another stall was selling skimpy Louis Vuitton short-sleeved tops and matching womens’ shorts under signs saying they were £30.

Alongside the outfits were black T-shirts and matching leggings emblazoned with the names of designer labels including Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Moschino.

The stallholder said: ‘T shirts on their own are £15 each depending on which one you need. It depends if we have got it. We have got all sizes.’

When the reporter asked: ‘How real are they?’, a customer who had been busy buying two items, interjected and said: ‘He don’t know. He’s only a worker.’

The stallholder then smiled and agreed that everything he was selling was ‘good quality’.

One of the stalls visited by police was selling a range of sweatshirts and tops with Boss and Kenzo branding as well as sunglasses, including some with Chanel and Rayban markings.

The fair effectively takes over the market-town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria

The fair effectively takes over the market-town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria

The official Appleby fair website also speaks out against counterfeit goods, describing them as ¿poor quality, unreliable and sometimes unsafe¿

The official Appleby fair website also speaks out against counterfeit goods, describing them as ‘poor quality, unreliable and sometimes unsafe’

According to annual evaluation reports, there were no seizures of counterfeit goods between 2012 and 2016

According to annual evaluation reports, there were no seizures of counterfeit goods between 2012 and 2016

One of the stalls visited by police was selling a range of sunglasses, including some with Chanel (pictured) and Rayban markings

One of the stalls visited by police was selling a range of sunglasses, including some with Chanel (pictured) and Rayban markings

Staff said they were selling their ‘Boss’ tops for £45, and sunglasses for £15 each or £20 with a chain.

When a reporter asked if they were all genuine, a worker on the stall joked: ‘Stolen’ as customers laughed.

Later when a reporter photographed some of the sunglasses, saying he wanted to send pictures to his daughter so she could choose, the stallholder snapped: ‘No pictures, no pictures’.

The other stallholder who spoke to police was selling supposed Louis Vuitton, YSL, Fendi, Gucci and Dior handbags, sunglasses and a selection of belts branded with Hermes, Burberry, Gucci and Louis Vuitton logos.

One more stall was selling supposed designer bags including Chanel branded ones for between £80 and £100, while another was selling supposed Dolce & Gabbana jackets and matching womens’ shorts, and overcoats.

Two teenagers were also sitting at a table selling an array of glitzy hairclips including some with Chanel markings, priced at just £8 each.

The Appleby horse fair has its roots in travellers and gipsies using it as a market place to buy and sell horses, but has become more of a social event for members of the travelling community and a chance to meet up with old and new friends.

The fair allows people to ride on horseback and in horse-driven buggies down the main road in the town, and to bathe their animals in the River Eden beside the bridge in the centre of Appleby.

Westmorland and Furness Council trading standards officers had earlier hinted at a crackdown on counterfeit goods at this year’s fair.

The council’s trading standards manager Caterine Hornby released a statement last month, warning traders and consumers to be wary of counterfeit goods.

She made no mention of clothing, but singled out counterfeit alcohol, tobacco, perfumes, cosmetics and branded electrical items as being of concern, although MailOnline found none of these items being sold.

Despite police speaking to staff at the stalls, no further action was taken against the ones who sold counterfeit items

Despite police speaking to staff at the stalls, no further action was taken against the ones who sold counterfeit items

The market based in Cumbria is a central feature of the historic annual horse fair

The market based in Cumbria is a central feature of the historic annual horse fair

Here is a look at some more counterfeit sunglass brands. Here one is pictured with the Ray Ban logo

Here is a look at some more counterfeit sunglass brands. Here one is pictured with the Ray Ban logo

Ms Hornby added: ‘Last year trading standards officers found some evidence of counterfeit goods at the Fair.

‘The issue is small scale, but the risk of serious harm from counterfeit goods such as sunglasses that don’t provide full UV protection, or from untested cosmetics, perfumes and electrical goods are obvious.

‘Our message to traders and consumers is that it’s just not worth the risk.’

The official Appleby fair website also speaks out against counterfeit goods, describing them as ‘poor quality, unreliable and sometimes unsafe’.

It warns that any trader selling counterfeit goods at the fair risks being fined up to £5,000 or jailed for up to six months in a magistrates court, or an unlimited fine or up to 10 years imprisonment in the Crown Court for trademark offences

Cumbria County Council trading standards officers had seized 2,400 counterfeit items from five market stallholders who were removed from the site at the fair in 2010.

The items including jewellery, sunglasses, clothing, trainers and handbags would have been worth up to £270,000 if genuine.

The council was supported in its seizures by representatives from the Anti Counterfeiting Group of Trademark Holders, an association set up by retailers and manufactures to combat those who trade in counterfeit goods

The following year, official records show that 900 counterfeit items, worth £50,000 if genuine, were seized from four traders removed from the site.

But according to annual evaluation reports, drawn up after each fair, there were no seizures of counterfeit goods between 2012 and 2016.

The evaluation reports have since changed, and now make no mention of any records relating to counterfeit goods at the fair.

Cumbria County Council Trading Standards Officer John Greenbank said in 2010: ‘The profits from selling counterfeit goods support organised crime and reduce business for legitimate clothing and sportswear manufactures and retailers.

‘The market field area at Appleby Fair is an additional part of this unique Gypsy and Traveller gathering.

‘It attracts professional market traders who are not Gypsies and Travellers from urban areas such as Glasgow, Greater Manchester and Birmingham.

‘Both the settled community and Gypsies and Travellers are keen to see the Horse Fair reflect its traditional heritage and do not wish any undesirable elements to profit from this historic cultural event in any way. This type of criminal activity is not welcome and will not be tolerated anywhere in Cumbria.’

Cumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Graham added at the time: ‘We will not accept this type of activity in a town centre and the same applies to Appleby Fair.

‘Gypsies and Travellers and visitors spend a considerable amount of money supporting the local economy in Cumbria and they have the right to know the goods they are purchasing are authentic and made to a good standard.’

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