Illegal tobacco and vapes which could have provided tens of thousands of pounds of funding for organised crime have been seized from the streets of Huddersfield.

The Huddersfield Town Centre Team and Huddersfield NPT are continuing their enquires after seizing thousands of vapes, cigarettes and other items in a day of action with West Yorkshire Trading Standards in Huddersfield town centre.    

The operation was the latest in a series of initiatives by the Kirklees Town Centre Partnership and Safer Kirklees to make Huddersfield safer this Christmas.

Joint teams visited four premises on December 1 and seized 28,000 illegal cigarettes, 1,519 oversize vapes valued between £20,000 and £25,000 and 18 500g pouches of shisha tobacco.  

Changes in legislation have meant that vapes are now restricted to a certain capacity and nicotine strength and authorities have been working to remove vapes in circulation which do not meet legal standards.

Other recent initiatives by the town centre teams have included a plain clothed operation to catch pickpockets and special safety patrols to reassure those enjoying a night out.

Sgt Amanda Holroyd, of Kirklees Police, said: “This operation was the latest in a series of safety operations by the town centre teams and has clearly resulted in some very large seizures.

“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.

“Enquiries remain ongoing with our colleagues following these seizures and I would ask anyone who has information about organised criminal behaviour and the sale of illegal products to contact us.“

Linda Davis, manager at West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “The illegal trade in tobacco products makes it easier for children to start smoking, takes advantage of cash-strapped families and helps fund organised crime.

“We would always remind members of the public of the adverse health, economic and social impacts of the illicit trade of tobacco products, including the linkages with human trafficking and a wide range of organised crimes.

“Our teams continue to work very closely with West Yorkshire Police to tackle this illegal behaviour and we want to thank residents for their support in reporting the sale of these goods.”