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North Northants Nabs Naughty Ne'er-do-wells

Prospects don’t look good for the business owners caught supplying illegal vapes by North Northamptonshire Council’s Trading Standards team and the Northamptonshire Police

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In response to an increase in complaints and intelligence, officers from Trading Standards worked with partners at North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) Licensing and Northamptonshire Police to inspect four premises in Rushden. As part of an ongoing operation tackling the illegal importation and sale of goods across North Northamptonshire, officers oversaw the seizure of 111 packets of hand rolling tobacco, 866 packets of cigarettes and 1,042 non-compliant vapes last month.

Officers say that a monetary value totalling approximately £24,541.60 was seized. This figure was reached by taking the average of the resale price for each product; £10,420 in vapes, £3,729.60 in hand rolling tobacco and £10,392 in illegal cigarettes.

Cllr David Brackenbury, the council’s Executive member for Growth and Regeneration at North Northamptonshire Council, said: “The trade in illegal tobacco harms local communities and affects honest businesses operating within the law. By working closely with our partners, we can tackle organised crime head on. The sale of illegal and illicit items is extremely dangerous for our communities, with these items causing a potentially harmful impact for anyone who purchases them. We are pleased to have been able to support this operation.”
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council, added: “I’d like to thank the officers and teams involved with this latest enforcement action and ongoing investigation. Here in North Northamptonshire, there is zero tolerance for flouting the law in relation to tobacco products and the links this often has to wider criminality. There’s no place for this on our communities.
“I’d urge anyone who has concerns about the sale of illegal tobacco products and vapes to report it to Trading Standards North Northamptonshire via their website

Northamptonshire Police Chief Inspector Tom Thompson commented: “Results like this really show the power of partnership working. People often think nothing of buying cheaper goods, particularly in the current climate, but there can be consequences for your health.
“Not only can illicit tobacco be bad for your health, it’s trade also undercuts legitimate businesses and can fund other serious crimes that impact our communities. Organised gangs are involved in many different crime types, including the distribution of illegal cigarettes, tobacco and vapes. Tackling these gangs is a priority for us and I would urge anyone with information about those involved in crime to call us on 101, report online via or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Wendy Martin, Director of National Trading Standards, concluded by saying: “The trade in illegal tobacco harms local communities and affects honest businesses operating within the law.”

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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