TRADING standards officers are set to crackdown on small East Lancashire shops 'profiteering' from the coronavirus crisis.

They and the Competition and Markets Authority that unfairly hiking prices during the Covid-19 outbreak is breaking the law.

The warning follows an appeal from Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Cllr Mohammed Khan to small shopkeepers not to exploit the crisis for profit earlier this week

Cllr Albert Atkinson, Lancashire County Council's trading standards boss, said: "We have received 13 complaints already about traders increasing their prices for food products. There seems to be no good reason for this, other than taking an opportunity to profit from an emergency situation.

“This is very disappointing and we are working closely with the CMA. We will use our powers to take enforcement action if needed.

His Blackburn with Darwen Council counterpart Cllr Jim Smith said: "This is pretty appalling behaviour from a minority of shop owners. I want them to know this is a warning that if you try this tactic, we will hear about it and we will take action.”