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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Sixty thousand illegal cigarettes seized in Dewsbury

Sixty thousand illegal cigarettes were seized from a premise in Dewsbury following a police operation last Thursday.

Illegal cigarettes worth tens of thousands of pounds have been smoked out in Dewsbury in an operation to make the town centre safer.

The Dewsbury Town Centre Team has said it has more operations in the pipeline after seizing 60,000 illegal cigarettes in a day of action last Thursday, with partners at Safer Kirklees and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Sixty thousand illegal cigarettes were seized in Dewsbury last week.

Officers carried out patrols in the town centre to deter street drinking and anti-social behaviour (ASB) as well as look at issues including rogue landlords, premises safety, and illegal business activity.

Visits were carried out at a number of premises and in one location a significant quantity of illicit cigarettes were found, estimated to be around 60,000.

The cigarettes, which are thought to be worth around £30,000 were seized and passed on to Trading Standards for further investigation and potential prosecution of those involved.

The multi-agency Dewsbury Town Centre Team was launched in 2020, along with a sister unit in Huddersfield.

Kirklees Council committed to funding the team whose visible presence aims to reduce crime, protect the vulnerable and increase residents and visitors satisfaction.

Sergeant Rich Teal of the Town Centre Team said: “A significant amount of work has been ongoing with partners in Dewsbury to make the town centre safer in recent months, and I want to thank all those who took part in Thursday’s day of action.

“The day’s operations saw us carry out some valuable crime prevention and reassurance work and send a clear message that illegal behaviour which affects others, whether in the form of ASB or business activity, will not be tolerated.

“Our checks on premises saw us find and seize almost 60,000 illegal cigarettes, a haul clearly worth a significant amount of money.

“Illegal goods such as these can often be linked to organised crime, and a full investigation into the matter is taking place.

“I would ask anyone who has information about a crime or general anti-social behaviour in the town centre to report it to us via 101 or anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

“All reports are used to help us plan activity such as this, and to put our resources where they are needed.”

Councillor Carole Pattison, Cabinet Member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said: “60,000 illegal cigarettes being confiscated is a considerable amount and we can confidently say that this has caused huge disruption to this illegal economy.

“This day of action, and the ones which will follow, are vital to tackling issues which are important to residents, shop owners and visitors to Dewsbury Town Centre. We know more work is needed, we will not be complacent, and we will continue to work hard to ensure everyone who lives, visits or works in Dewsbury Town Centre feels safe and is safe.”

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