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Illicit tobacco and counterfeit vapes have been seized from a newsagents in Kirkby.
On Friday 6 May, Merseyside Police and Knowsley Council’s Trading Standards visited Village News on Glovers Brow and seized approximately 25,000 cigarettes, 230 packs of tobacco and 44 vapes.
A full investigation is now underway by Trading Standards.
Thanks to community intelligence and partnership working between Knowsley Council’s Crime and Communities, Trading Standards Team, and Merseyside Police a 41-year-old man was found to be in possession of a small amount of cannabis. He was dealt with by way of community resolution.
The significant seizure of tobacco formed part of the Knowsley Policing Team’s day of action, which also saw officers carry out open land searches and letter drops in the community.
Knowsley Community Policing Inspector David Morgan said: “Illicit products such as those we seized on Friday carry the potential to damage public health as the chemicals added to these products aren’t monitored or licensed in any way.
“They could be exposing consumers to potentially dangerous chemicals, and we are pleased to have helped take them out of circulation.
“I hope our ongoing work with Trading Standards shows the steps we will take to remove any counterfeit goods from our stores and community.
“Whenever we receive intelligence about illegal goods, we work closely with our partners to investigate and take appropriate action.
“Our activity should send a clear message to criminals that we will stop at nothing to tackle this issue and it's a priority we will continue to crack down on.
“The counterfeit goods trade isn’t a victimless crime. Often criminals use the profits to fund other organised crime, and with that often comes violence, which can have devastating effects on our communities in Kirkby and across Merseyside.
“I would appeal to anyone who knows someone involved in selling illicit tobacco or counterfeit goods to get in touch with us so we can safely remove these products from our streets.”
A Knowsley Council spokesperson said: “Thanks to vital community intelligence our Crime and Communities and Trading Standards Team have worked with Merseyside Police to take robust action against those involved in the sale of counterfeit goods.
"These goods haven’t been through stringent tests and as a result are considered to be an unregulated product, falling short of minimum standards of safety and quality, posing serious risks to our communities, so it’s really important that we remove them for sale or consumption.
"We would ask anyone who has seen, or may have purchased, a product they think may be a fake to contact the national Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS) on 03454 04 05 06 or alternatively ring our Trading Standards team on 0151 489 6000.”
Anyone that knows of any stores involved is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.