THE REGULATOR (the CPR) will ‘police’ the construction industry and take over product safety tests from the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

Mail Online reported on the government’s creation of the CPR, which will ‘police’ the construction industry and have the ‘power to prosecute those who try to cheat housing safety laws’. It will employ a team of ‘safety enforcers’ who will track dangerous materials and put ‘rogue bosses who profit from them in the dock’, with the potential for company executives to face jail.

The move is said to have been made after ‘public outrage’ at the evidence heard at the Grenfell inquiry throughout the latter part of 2020, in which representatives from firms including insulation manufacturers Kingspan and Celotex revealed ‘scant regard for safety’ and the ability to ‘rig safety tests’. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick was said by the news outlet to believe that these scandals are ‘Britain’s version of the VW emissions affair’ involving Volkswagen in 2015.

It added that Mr Jenrick hopes the CPR will ‘stop the construction industry making dangerous products and avoiding safety checks’, with all firms having to ‘pass a strict test enforced’ by the CPR, and those ‘who try to avoid it will be punished’. He is also set to announce an investigation into how the products used on Grenfell ‘got round safety checks’, with the CPR to have the power to ban sales of ‘any construction material it considers unsafe’.

It will also be able to bring criminal charges against executives ‘who defy the rules’, with all building products having to be approved by the CPR. It will also take over product safety tests from BRE, which was ‘lambasted by lawyers’ for the bereaved and survivors at Grenfell, who told the inquiry that the fire was the result of ‘an uncaring and under-regulated building industry’.

Those lawyers added that BRE was ‘manipulated’ by ‘ruthless and criminal manufacturers’, and that the ‘testing and certification bodies provided no such protection but reinforced the dangerous and dishonest culture within the industry. They were far too close to those whom they were supposed to be overseeing and far too willing to accept their misleading claims’.

A government source told the news outlet: ‘The dishonest methods used to get round safety checks in the construction industry must stop. Flouting these regulations will be treated as a serious criminal matter with appropriate punishments. The Grenfell inquiry has revealed some manufacturers have put lives at risk by gaming the system, putting falsely advertised products on the market and refusing to take responsibility when caught in the act. We are putting an end to this.’