Thousands of pounds of counterfeit nicotine products seized from shops in Chorley

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Illegal nicotine products including cigarettes, counterfeit hand rolling tobacco and disposable vapes, which, if sold as genuine, would be worth over £7,000, have been seized as part of Operation Centurion. 

During the recent operation, officers from Chorley’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, along with Trading Standards, seized a total of 515 goods from two shops in the town.  

Inspector Mike Moys, from Chorley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Information from the public is invaluable to the police. Without it, we would be unable to carry out this sort of proactive work which helps to prevent and detect crime, ensuring the safeguarding and protection of our community.”  

“This operation demonstrates the strong working relationships that we have with our partners and the commitment we all have to working together to tackle this sort of activity which often leads to anti-social behaviour in the surrounding communities. 

County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: 

"Our Trading Standards team have undertaken vital work in the community by backing Lancashire Constabulary's Operation Centurion initiative.

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

The high volume of these products seized by Trading Standards shows just how widespread the illegal trade in these products is, with some unscrupulous retailers deliberately breaking the law.

These included 42 seizures of tobacco and 76 confiscations of e-cigarettes in 2023.

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 our communities.

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

Operation Centurion is Lancashire Police’s response to tackling anti-social behaviour. £2m of funding secured from the Government’s Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan will see extra police patrols in areas identified as ASB hotspots, working in conjunction with partner agencies.  

To report a crime, you can contact police on 101, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report online here Home - Lancashire Constabulary - Report Online

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