Illegal goods and drugs searches across Newcastle-under-Lyme
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We have carried out a day of action alongside our partners in Newcastle-under-Lyme to target illegal goods, tobacco and drugs.
On Thursday (14 December), officers worked closely with Staffordshire County Council's Trading Standards, Immigration and community safety leads across the area to target shops and businesses who were selling illegal items – including vape products, food and tobacco. Test purchasers were used to check that practices were legal across five different premises.
During the multi-agency operation, Trading Standards visited five shops and stores in the town. Officers seized oversized vapes, counterfeit cigarettes and illegal food worth an estimated £36,000.
Chief Inspector John Owen, from the Newcastle-under-Lyme local policing team, said: “We are committed to working alongside our partners to proactively tackle persistent issues across Staffordshire.
“Unregulated products can pose a serious health risk. These goods are not taxed or legally brought into the country. We want to continue working closely with Trading Standards and the local authority to ensure businesses are operating legally and safely in the area.
“Minimising harm and protecting our communities is a priority for local officers. We are committed to being proactive and working collaboratively to tackle the issues which matter most to local people.”
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “Tackling the sale of illegal counterfeit or illicit goods is a priority for our team who work hard with our partners to keep consumers safe.
“Officers seized a quantity of illicit and counterfeit tobacco which not only harms local communities but also harms legitimate businesses too. Illegal and oversized vapes were also amongst the goods seized, along with American candy that contains unauthorised ingredients and shouldn’t be on sale in this country.
“This latest operation shows that we continue to take action where illegal sales are going on and anyone with information should get in touch with the team.”
Cllr Gill Heesom, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Community Safety and Wellbeing, said: “Officers from our mobile multi-function team have worked with partners to support the removal of illegal vapes and illicit tobacco from a number of premises in the town centre.
“The operation follows a week of action to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, because we want our residents to be safe in the town centre and not put at risk by illegal items.
“We will continue to work in partnership with the county council and Staffordshire Police to ensure that those responsible are dealt with accordingly.”