More than £17,000 worth of illegal tobacco, cigarettes, and vapes have been seized following inspections across Hyndburn on Tuesday (26).
According to local reports, Hyndburn neighbourhood policing team were joined by representatives from Trading Standards and Lancashire County Council on inspections carried out as part of Operation Centurion. These inspections led to the seizure of the illegal goods from two shops in the borough, as well as prescription drugs and cash.
On operations with the police in 2023, tobacco has been seized 56 times and vapes on 88 occasions across Lancashire.
Carl McCoy, neighbourhood sergeant for Hyndburn, said, “This operation demonstrates our strong working relationships with local partners and our combined commitment to tackling this sort of activity in our communities, preventing and detecting crime.
“The information we receive from the public is invaluable to the police and without it we would be unable to carry out this sort of proactive work.”
Cllr Michael Green, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Our Trading Standards team worked with Hyndburn Constabulary on intelligence-led inspections on September 26, where the two agencies found a number of purpose-built concealments and seized various illicit products.
“These included 2,057 packs of cigarettes, hand rolling tobacco, and vapes worth around £17,000, together with prescription drugs supplied from unlicensed premises, and cash seized as proceeds of crime.”
A police spokesperson said: “Cheap illicit tobacco is readily available to young people and encourages them to smoke, while the sale of illegal products has a serious impact on both legitimate businesses, and on the health and wellbeing of our communities.
“If you know of any businesses increasing anti-social behaviour by the sale of illegal goods, we would appreciate your assistance by referring any intelligence on illegal tobacco or vapes to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 2231133.”