More

    Covert surveillance employed to nab shops selling counterfeit cigarettes

    Covert surveillance has been used to find counterfeit cigarettes

    Covert surveillance has been used by Sheffield Council officers investigating the sale of counterfeit cigarettes.

    The council used the special power on three occasions in 2018-19 to investigate the sale of counterfeit cigarettes.

    Cllr Mark Jones, Cabinet member for environment, street-scene and climate change, said: “We take our role in protecting members of the public very seriously and use a range of methods to investigate criminal activity.

    “Covert surveillance might be considered as part of wider investigations into suspected crime, such as the sale of age restricted products, like cigarettes and alcohol, or the sale of counterfeit goods.

    “In three cases we have used covert surveillance to help secure important evidence relating to the sale of illegal tobacco.”

    Officers won’t disclose details of how the surveillance is carried out but have highlighted a number of successful prosecutions, including that of a Darnall shop owner.

    He was prosecuted after trading standards seized more than 27,000 illicit cigarettes.

    The shop owner pleaded guilty to five offences in October 2018 relating to the sale of counterfeit and incorrectly labelled tobacco products.

    The prosecution came after trading standards officers were sold a packet of counterfeit rolling tobacco and a packet of foreign labelled cigarettes.

    Later that month, the shop was searched with a tobacco detection dog and more than 9,120 cigarettes and 75 pouches of rolling tobacco were seized. Some products were hidden in a purpose built concealed unit behind shelving.

    The owner was sentenced to a 12 month community order to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

    The council can use the Investigatory Powers Act to carry out covert surveillance. It must start within three months following court approval and can last anything from a few hours to several days.

    Any applications to magistrates are not released to the public and are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

    But the documents are open to inspection to the Investigatory Powers Commissioner which checks councils are following legislation.

    Latest

    Nestlé develops new method to reduce fat in dairy ingredients

    Nestlé said its R&D teams have found a way...

    Retail sales slumped in June amid poor weather

    With poor weather and uncertainty ahead of the election...

    SGF urges legislators to think carefully over scale of new vape flavour regulations

    The drive to make Scotland smoke-free risks being set...

    Chill Brands clears CEO of insider trading allegations

    Vape firm Chill Brands has on Wednesday announced that...

    Don't miss

    Nestlé develops new method to reduce fat in dairy ingredients

    Nestlé said its R&D teams have found a way...

    Retail sales slumped in June amid poor weather

    With poor weather and uncertainty ahead of the election...

    SGF urges legislators to think carefully over scale of new vape flavour regulations

    The drive to make Scotland smoke-free risks being set...

    Chill Brands clears CEO of insider trading allegations

    Vape firm Chill Brands has on Wednesday announced that...

    Number of long term vape users rise: study

    The number of adults in England who report vaping...

    Nestlé develops new method to reduce fat in dairy ingredients

    Nestlé said its R&D teams have found a way to reduce the fat present in milk powder by up to 60 per cent, without...

    Retail sales slumped in June amid poor weather

    With poor weather and uncertainty ahead of the election hitting spending, retail sales in Britain contracted more than expected in June. The Office for National...

    SGF urges legislators to think carefully over scale of new vape flavour regulations

    The drive to make Scotland smoke-free risks being set back if too many restrictions are placed on the flavours available to vapers, the Scottish...