Joint operation sees £9,000 worth of illegal cigarettes, tobacco and vaping equipment taken off Rotherham streets

Date published: 19 September 2023 14:45
Dated: 19 September 2023 15:44:31

A joint operation targeting three retail premises in the Rotherham district has seen more than £9,000 worth of illegal cigarettes, tobacco and vaping equipment seized.

Our officers worked alongside Rotherham Council’s Trading Standards team earlier this month, a partnership which has seen the total amount of illegal goods taken off the district’s streets, since 1 January this year, push towards the £190,000 mark.

On Tuesday 5 September, a premises in the Eastwood area of the town was visited. Here, 110 illicit vapes believed to be worth £990 and 38 illegal bottles of the energy drink, Prime, with an estimated street value £190 were seized.

Then on Thursday 7 September, they attended a premises in the Ferham area. Some 372 vapes were seized with an estimated value of £4,464.

The same day, another premises in Eastwood was visited where 1,700 illicit cigarettes worth £783, 800g of illegal tobacco worth an estimated £192 and 229 vapes thought to be worth £2,748 were seized.

This brought the week’s total seizure to £9,367. The hard work this year has now seen illegal cigarettes worth an estimated £90,704 and illicit vapes thought to be worth £97,131 recovered to give a combined total of £187,835.

PC Tom Wykes was part of the SYP team involved in the operation. He said: “We know from speaking to residents when out and about that illegal smoking paraphernalia such as this can have a detrimental effect on their community.

“Using intelligence built up by ourselves and our partners such as the council’s Trading Standards department, we execute these warrants to target the supply of these illicit goods to stop them getting into the hands of both young and old in our communities.

“These practices will not be tolerated, and we hope that this shows the hard work that goes into keeping the streets safe for those who live here.”

Councillor Dominic Beck, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “We are committed to helping Rotherham residents be safe, healthy and live well. There are increased risks of harm caused by illicit vapes and tobacco products, which haven’t been through any regulatory control - including chemicals and toxic metals - so it is important we continue to work with the police and local businesses to ensure they are complying with the law.

“Any retailers who continue to sell illegal products will have them confiscated and may face prosecution.”

If you have any information relating to the suspected sale of illicit tobacco products from shops anywhere within our force area, you can pass this on to officers via our online live chat, our online portal or by calling 101.

You can access our online portal here: www.southyorks.police.uk/contact-us/report-something/

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