Home Community and neighbourhoods Operation Wagtails gets illegal tobacco off the streets
Cllr Shelley Powell poses for a photograph with a sniffer dog.

Operation Wagtails gets illegal tobacco off the streets

by Guy Murphy

A large quantity of vapes, cigarettes and tobacco were seized from premises across the borough during a recent trading standards operation in partnership with Wagtails and Merseyside Police.

Taking place Tuesday October 17, the Wagtails II operation was led by officers from the Council’s trading standards team to coincide with Merseyside Police Business Action Week.,

During the course of the day 5 premises were visited with 4 having products seized for a variety of offences relating to tobacco products.

A quantity of hand rolling tobacco and cigarettes were seized by Trading Standards for issues including non-duty paid, and suspected counterfeits.

Furthermore, a larger quantity of disposable vape products were seized after officers identified they did not comply with the maximum permitted tank capacity, or have the required product labelling.

Merseyside Police also seized a quantity of nitrous oxide canisters from one premises, confirming concerns raised from the community that the premises was supplying it to children.

During a separate operation conducted the same day officers also seized perfumes and other trademarked goods.

Trading Standards officers will fully assess all seized products to determine the offences committed and the potential for prosecution.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “Working in partnership with Merseyside Police and other agencies, Knowsley’s Trading Standards Team has helped stop the sale of counterfeit cigarettes, illegal vaping products and other potentially dangerous and illegal goods at locations across the borough.

“With the help of the fantastic Wagtails, we were able to locate illegal tobacco and vaping products that might not have been found. I would like the to thank the team and both dogs, Billy and Lilly, for their hard work and support.

“It is vital we continue to tackle the sale of illegal or counterfeit goods to ensure our communities are safe.”

Anyone with knowledge of counterfeit or illegal goods being sold should contact Merseyside Police or Knowsley’s Trading Standards team on 0808 223 1133 or Tradingstandardsteam@knowsley.gov.uk.”