SHOPPING centres and markets across the borough have vowed to stamp out the sale of fake and counterfeit goods.

Staff from Dudley Market; Dudley and Halesowen Plaza Malls; the Cornbow Centre in Halesowen; Brierley Hill Indoor Market; the Crown Centre and Ryemarket in Stourbridge; Merry Hill Centre and Stourbridge Farmers Market have signed up to the Real Deal Charter to show their commitment that fake and other illicit goods are not welcome on their stalls or in their shops.

By signing up, operators have pledged to comply with a Code of Practice committing to vet all traders, have identity checks carried out on tenants and take all necessary action to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods in their markets and shops.

This includes evicting tenants promptly if counterfeit goods are found.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: "I am delighted that so many of our markets and shopping centres have signed up to this charter.

"Visitors to our markets and shops can buy knowing that what they spend their hard-earned cash on is legitimate, safe and value for money.

"Counterfeit and illicit goods are often of inferior quality and, in most cases, unsafe as they have not gone through the same rigorous safety checks that legitimate goods go through.

"Their sale can damage consumer confidence and legitimate businesses, because they infringe existing intellectual property rights."

More than 500 markets and retail centres across the country have signed the voluntary charter since it was launched.