Illegal tobacco and vapes worth up to £45,000 have been seized in raids on shops in Huddersfield town centre.

Police and West Yorkshire Trading Standards officials carried out a joint operation earlier this month and investigations are underway.

The joint operation targeted shops suspected of selling cigarettes and vapes to children. Officers seized 12,000 cigarettes, 4kg of hand rolling tobacco and 4,500 vapes with a retail value of £45,000. 

The operation was one of a number carried out in recent months in Kirklees. Changes in legislation last year meant that vapes are now restricted to a certain capacity and nicotine strength and authorities were aware that devices which did not meet legal standards were in circulation.

Police say the proceeds from the sale of illegal tobacco and vapes can be used to fund organised crime.

Sgt Amanda Holroyd, the Kirklees Town Centre Partnership sergeant, said: “Illegal tobacco and vapes worth well over £100,000 have now been recovered by officers from our team and West Yorkshire Trading Standards over the last 12 months and this latest operation has again resulted in very significant seizures.

“The sale of such products is a real cause of concern for residents, especially when we know they may not meet UK standards and are suspected of being sold to children.

“We know cash from the sale of such goods can often be used to directly fund organised crime so it is important we do all we can to cut off sources of funding for serious criminality which can blight communities.

“We would urge anyone with information regarding the illicit tobacco and vape trade in Kirklees to contact the Huddersfield Neighbourhood Policing Team via 101 or online at  or contact West Yorkshire Trading Standards direct.

“Information can also be given to the independent Crimestoppers charity, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”