Thousands of pounds worth of illegal tobacco and vapes were seized along with illegal drugs as police conducted a strike day across Bacup.

Officers conducted the day of action on Friday, September 15, addressing community concerns and yielding significant results.

The neighbourhood policing team and exploitation teams were joined on the day by representatives from Trading Standard, Licensing, Rossendale Borough Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue, and Lancashire County Council.

Lancashire Telegraph: Vapes and tobacco seized in BacupVapes and tobacco seized in Bacup (Image: Lancashire Police)

They carried out activity as part of Operation Centurion to address concerns surrounding numerous businesses in Bacup town centre, conducting inspections at several premises leading to the seizure of several thousand pounds worth of illegal tobacco and vapes.

Results from the day include a total of 355 vapes and 539 packs of illegal tobacco and cigarettes seized, with a retail value of more than £7,500.

As part of this activity teams also issues two Community Protection Notices.

Two warrants were executed as part of Operation Warrior at an address in Bold Street and an address in Britannia Avenue.

At both of these, illegal drugs were discovered and seized.

Operation Warrior is Lancashire Police’s response to tackling serious and organised crime in the county and delivering on police and crime commissioner Andrew Snowden’s fighting crime plan.

It aims to target the individual and gangs involved in crime, as well as associated issues such as violence and intimidation, drug supply, exploitation, and fraud, all of which can cause harm to local communities.

Mr Snowden said: “It’s important that we send a clear message to criminals that police are coming to get you, and this is another great example of the work officers do, every single day, to disrupt and dismantle organised crime gangs and put them behind bars.”

Rob Grey, neighbourhood inspector for Rossendale, said: “It’s great to see that we have been able to remove a quantity of drugs and other illegal products off the streets of Bacup.

“We will continue to actively work with our partner agencies to tackle the issues and concerns of our communities and this day of action is just a small example of the kind of activity we do day-in-day-out.

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“We would encourage the community to report their concerns so the right agency can take action as those engaging in this illegal activity are having a profound effect on legitimate businesses who are trying to make an honest living.”

County Cllr Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: “Our Trading Standards team were delighted to back Lancashire Constabulary’s day of action in Bacup.

“The items seized in Bacup were a mix of illicit tobacco products, either counterfeit or without health warnings, and illegal vapes.

“So far this year we have made 46 seizures of tobacco and 80 of e-cigarettes in Lancashire, showing how widespread the illegal trade in these products is, with some unscrupulous retailers deliberately selling illicit goods, often to children.

“Cheap illicit tobacco is readily available to young people and encourages them to smoke, while the sale of illegal products has a serious impact on both legitimate businesses, and on the health and wellbeing of our communities.

“If you can help to pinpoint businesses that might be adding to this issue, refer any intelligence on illegal tobacco or vapes sales to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 2231133.”

Operation Centurion is Lancashire Police’s response to tackling anti-social behaviour backed by commissioner Andrew Snowden and £2m of extra funding secured from the Government’s new Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan.