Friday, November 24, 2023
Illegal and counterfeit tobacco, illegal vapes, and counterfeit clothing, with an estimated street value of £20,000, have been seized in Lancaster.
Lancaster’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, in partnership with Trading Standards, conducted the operation on Wednesday 22nd November 2023 and seized numerous items from three shops in Lancaster Town Centre.
Neighbourhood Policing Inspector James Martin said: “This operation was conducted because of community intelligence, and the results show just how important this is to us.
“The vapes seized far exceeded what is legally permitted within the UK with regards to nicotine content. My concern is that these dangerous, high-powered, vapes can easily get into the hands of young people. That’s why working with Trading Standards is so important to us.
“This was a great seizure and sends out a strong message that we are cracking down and tackling the sale of illegal and counterfeit items. Operations like this will continue.”
Councillor Michael Green, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "It is fantastic to see our Trading Standards team working alongside the police on this operation. This recovery massively prevents these non-compliant items getting into the hands of young people in our community.
"The seizures were made from three shops in the centre of Lancaster. Two of the shops had been previously advised to stop selling non-compliant vapes but had carried on selling them.
“Let's be clear – we will not tolerate such behaviour from these repeat offenders.
"The sale of counterfeit items has a significant impact on legitimate businesses and puts the health of our residents at risk.
"These seizures send out a very strong message that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. The seizure of almost £20,000 will hit them hard – in their illegal profits – and, importantly, helps to safeguard the wellbeing of Lancashire's residents.
"We look forward to working alongside the police in the near future to continue tackling this issue.”