AN e-cigarette shop owner has claimed he is being ‘victimised’ by the police after officers searched his business three times in 10 months for illegal smoking products.

Qulzam Nain, who owns Vape and Smoke in Accrington Road, Blackburn, said police searched his store for illegal drugs, such a spice, in December last year, January this year and on Tuesday without finding anything.

Inspector Martyn Holt said a warrant was obtained following ‘concerns from the community’ about the use of spice and psychoactive substances in the area.

Mr Nain, who has run the shop for around six years, has claimed the searches have affected his trade and put customers off returning.

Mr Nain said: “I feel victimised because they keep coming back to my shop and searching for items, but finding nothing.

“When spice was a legal high it was sold in my shop, but as soon as the law came in 2016 I stopped selling it.

“These searches are affecting my trade. My shop was closed for around four hours the other day because of the police.

“They found nothing.

“Since I’ve had the shop they’ve been five times and found nothing. It’s not fair. They need to leave me alone and stop harassing me.”

Police got a warrant on Tuesday to search the shop, which sells e-cigarettes and vape liquid.

A police spokesman said on Wednesday a 38-year-old man from Blackburn was asked to attend Greenbank Police Station on a voluntary basis to speak to officers, which Mr Nain confirmed was himself.

Insp Holt said the search was part of a joint operation with trading standards.

He said: “This warrant was obtained following concerns from the community about the use of spice and psychoactive substances in the area.

“When members of the public come to us with reports of drug use in their community, we always take their concerns seriously.

“This warrant was obtained to enable us to look further into the intelligence we received, and to work alongside trading standards to ensure this shop was operating lawfully.”