Sixty thousand illegal cigarettes seized, Dewsbury

Monday, February 7, 2022

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

The Dewsbury Town Center team said they have other operations underway after seizing 60,000 illegal cigarettes during a day of action on Thursday (3/2) with partners from Safer Kirklees and the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Officers have been patrolling the town center to deter street drinking and anti-social behavior (ASB), as well as looking at issues such as rogue landlords, premises security and illegal business activity .

Visits were made to a number of premises and at one location a significant quantity of illicit cigarettes was found, estimated at around 60,000.

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

Dewsbury town center multi-agency team launched in 2020, with a sister unit in Huddersfield

Kirklees Council has pledged to fund the team whose visible presence aims to reduce crime, protect the vulnerable and increase resident and visitor satisfaction.

Sergeant Rich Teal, of the Town Center team, said: “There has been significant work underway with partners in Dewsbury to make the town center safer over the past few months, and I would like to thank everyone who has participated in Thursday’s day of action.

“The day’s operations saw us do valuable crime prevention and reassurance work and send a clear message that unlawful behavior that affects others, whether in the form of ASB or commercial activities, does not will not be tolerated.

“Our on-the-spot checks enabled us to find and seize almost 60,000 illegal cigarettes, a loot that is clearly worth a significant sum of money.

“Illegal goods like these can often be linked to organized crime, and a full investigation into the matter is ongoing.

“I would ask anyone with information about crime or general anti-social behavior in the city center to report it to us via 101 or anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

“All reports are used to help us plan activities like this and allocate our resources where they are needed.”

Councilor Carole Pattison, Cabinet Member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said: “60,000 confiscated illegal cigarettes is a huge amount and we can say with confidence that it has caused enormous disruption to this illegal economy.

“This day of action, and those to follow, is essential to addressing issues of importance to residents, business 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 that everyone who lives, visits or works in Dewsbury town center feels safe and secure.

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