Police have seized more than 60,000 illicit cigarettes in Huddersfield.
West Yorkshire Police teamed up with West Yorkshire Trading Standards, Wagtail UK tobacco detection dogs and other partner agencies including licencing and security staff during an operation on Saturday.
Operation Torrward aimed to crack down on the supply of illicit tobacco in West Yorkshire, as well as anti-social behaviour. The operation targeted six locations in the town centre.
PC Steve Nicholls of Kirklees District Police, who lead the Operation, said: “We are incredibly pleased with the results achieved on Saturday night – it was a great success.
“A lot of planning went into this operation with our partner agencies. I would like to thank them all for their support and expertise up to and during the weekend. Many of the officers, Specials and PCSOs came into work on their days off to support the operation, which was greatly appreciated.
“The items which were seized at market value came to several thousand pounds and we were able to make the streets of Huddersfield safer by taking illegal and illicit cigarettes and counterfeit goods from the shelves.”
A total of 62,860 illegal cigarettes were seized, along with 26kg of hand rolling tobacco and 219 illegal tobacco products. Also nearly £13,000 of cash was seized from the premises searched.
Officer said that if the cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco was genuine, it would be valued at in excess of £50,000.
The operation was supported by high visibility police patrols in the town centre supported by the Special Constabulary and PCSOs as well as from West Yorkshire Police’s dog unit and road policing teams.
David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said: “All tobacco is harmful, but the supply of illegal cigarettes seriously undermines the drive to reduce smoking, fuels organised criminality and is often a gateway for young people to becoming addicted to a habit which prematurely kills over half its users.
I would encourage the public to continue reporting this type of activity to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 and fulfil their role in protecting our future generations.”