Trading Standards team praised for work seizing illicit goods
Colleagues in a town council's Trading Standards team have been praised for their partnership work in seizing illicit goods and prosecuting businesses selling vapes and cigarettes to children.
In a quarterly paper that went to a meeting of Walsall Council’s Cabinet on February 7, which reports on markers of success, the report said that between July and September last year, Trading Standards reported seizures of 68,000 illegal cigarettes, 210 pouches of tobacco and 183 vapes with a street value of £20,000.
The team was assisted by teams two and three from St. Matthew’s Walsall neighbourhood police.
While some of the goods were in sophisticated concealments, others were found in storerooms that were not hidden while, in addition, the report also noted prosecutions of two retail premises.
KNN News, located on Park Street Arcade in Walsall town centre, was prosecuted for the underage sale of single cigarettes. Fines were handed out totalling £1,746, plus victim surcharges of £698 and costs of £1,091.
Vape Trick, located on Park Street in Walsall, was prosecuted for the underage sale of vapes. The retailer was fined £440, plus victim surcharges of £176 and costs of £1,254.07.
Illicit cigarettes, tobacco and vapes fund organised criminal activity.
Colleagues will continue to take enforcement action against illicit products found on the illegal market and reduce the impact underage sales have on Walsall communities, including the reduction of anti-social behaviour.
Councillor Garry Perry, deputy Leader and portfolio holder for resilient communities at Walsall Council, said he welcomed the report.
He said: “We want to ensure people feel safe in their local area and reduce crime.
"I welcome the recent report of the work of our Trading Standards team and police officers to seize illegal cigarettes and vapes and prosecute retailers who sell to underage persons.
"This is a case of Walsall Council working with our partners to help make our streets safer for residents.
"Furthermore, our work underpins the additional government legislation to reduce the impact of vaping in children and young people.”