Drugs and thousands of pounds of illegal tobacco and vapes seized in Bacup strike day

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Bacup Police, in collaboration with several partner agencies, conducted a successful day of action on Friday 15th September, addressing pressing community concerns. The operation yielded significant results, with a quantity of drugs being seized along with thousands of pounds worth of illegal tobacco and vapes.

Two warrants were executed as part of Op Warrior at an address on Bold Street and an address on Britannia Avenue in Bacup during the operation. At both locations illegal drugs were discovered and seized. Operation Warrior is Lancashire Police's response to tackling serious and organised crime in Lancashire and delivering on Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden's Fighting Crime Plan priority of disrupting and dismantling organised crime. 

It aims to target the individual and gangs involved in crime, as well as associated issues such as violence and intimidation, drug supply, exploitation, and fraud, all of which can cause serious harm to local communities.

Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said: "It's important that we send a clear message to criminals that police are coming to get you, and this is another great example of the work officers do, every single day, to disrupt and dismantle organised crime gangs and put them behind bars.

Our Neighbourhood Policing and Exploitation Teams were joined on the day by representatives from partner agencies, including Trading Standards, Licensing, Rossendale Borough Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue and Lancashire County Council. They carried out activity as part of Op Centurion to address concerns surrounding numerous businesses in Bacup town centre, conducting inspections at several premises leading to the seizure of several thousand pounds worth of illegal tobacco and vapes. As part of this activity our teams also issued two Community Protection Notices.

Rob Grey, Neighbourhood Inspector for Rossendale, said: “It’s great to see that we have been able to remove a quantity of drugs and other illegal products off the streets of Bacup.

“We will continue to actively work with our partner agencies to tackle the issues and concerns of our communities and this day of action is just a small example of the kind of activity we do day-in-day-out.

“We would encourage the community to continue to report their concerns, so that the right agency can take action as those engaging in this illegal activity are having a profound effect on legitimate businesses who are trying to make an honest living.”

County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: "Our Trading Standards team were delighted to back Lancashire Constabulary's day of action in Bacup.

“The items seized in Bacup were a mix of illicit tobacco products, either counterfeit or without health warnings, and illegal vapes.

“So far this year we have made 46 seizures of tobacco and 80 of e-cigarettes in Lancashire, showing how widespread the illegal trade in these products is, with some unscrupulous retailers deliberately selling illicit goods, often to children.

“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 can help to pinpoint businesses that might be adding to this issue, refer any intelligence on illegal tobacco or vapes sales to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 2231133.”

Results from the day include a total 355 vapes seized and 539 packs of illegal tobacco and cigarettes seized, with a retail value of over £7,500.

Operation Centurion is Lancashire Police’s response to tackling anti-social behaviour backed by Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden and £2m of extra funding secured from the Government’s new Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan.

For more information on Operation Centurion, visit

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