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International Women's Day - profile on Senior Trading Standards Officer

In honour of International Women’s Day today, we've met some of the women in the council doing interesting jobs here in Cornwall Council.

My name is… Elizabeth Kirk. 

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I am a Senior Trading Standards Officer with Cornwall Council.

My job involves investigating sales of illegal tobacco and alcohol including sales to children, counterfeit goods and other business fraud, and undertaking tobacco control activities to help reduce smoking rates. 

In a typical week I could be travelling to London for a meeting on tobacco control with the Department of Health, or going undercover in a pub to gather evidence of illegal tobacco trading, or executing an entry warrant with the police, or drafting a consultation response on new legislation, or conducting an interview under caution, or giving a talk to a Pub Watch group, or updating our Twitter feed, or undertaking a line management meeting with one of the five staff I manage.

I’ve worked for the Council for eight years. I qualified as a trading standards officer when I was 21, and have worked as far east as Southend on Sea and as far north as Nottingham for a variety of Local Authorities since then. 

The most unusual thing I’ve had to do in my job is obtain a European Arrest Warrant – only the second trading standards case to do this – for two defendants who had gone ‘on the run’ to France. 

What I love most about my job is the wide variety of things I get involved in and the confidence my line manager has in me to let me just get on with it. 

I love living in Cornwall because of the relaxed pace of life and the beauty of the country and seaside. I love to go sea fishing, the access to the coastline here is perfect.