Counterfeit tobacco and vapes seized during Crawley days of action
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Sussex Police, alongside partners, have been utilising new schemes across two days of action in Crawley.
In October, Crawley Neighbourhood Policing Teams launched the engagement pod in High Street and ‘Stronger, Safer, Crawley’.
The pod offers extra visibility to prevent crime, and teamed with ‘Stronger, Safer Crawley’, it has led to officers being deployed to crackdown on serious and organised crime in the town centre.
On Friday, 26 January, Sussex Police ran a joint operation with Trading Standards, HM Revenue & Customs, SEROCU, Crawley Brough Council and Specialist Search dogs as part of Neighbourhood Policing Week of Action.
Officers visited seven premises’ in Crawey in search of illegal tobacco, vapes and counterfeit goods.
Thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes and vapes were confiscated.
This included goods which were suspected of being fraudulent, illegally imported and addressed health and safety issues. They were seized and disposed.
Officers also seized £10,000 which was hidden away in a well-concealed hide.
A Stronger, Safer, Crawley operation was run alongside this joint operation, which consisted of plain-clothed and uniformed officers on patrol.
A total of 11 stop searches were conducted where Class A and Class B drugs were seized.
On Tuesday, 31 January, the pod opened its doors to partners and Sussex Police, alongside West Sussex County Council’s Community Safety Team.
A number of engagements took place, and residents had an opportunity to discuss their worries or questions with officers, PCSOs, and county council staff.
Superintendent Nick Dias said: “The multi-functional use of the pod is perfect for what we wanted.
“Residents should be able to go to the pod and see a face if they have any questions. These days show that it won’t just be Sussex Police who will be there for answers, but also representatives from our partners.
“The day of action with Trading Standards was a fantastic result and it shows our commitment to keeping shoppers safe with legal products.”
Councillor Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “As a resident of Crawley and elected member for the area, I am pleased to support the Safer Stronger Crawley initiative that has been running since November 2023 and the actions being taking in the town centre to make it a safer place for people to go about their daily lives.
“The co-ordinated work being done by the County Council’s Trading Standards, Community Safety Team and Early Help Service, alongside Crawley Borough Council Licencing, the Probation Service, and Sussex Police shows what can be done when agencies collaborate and work together for Crawley residents. I look forward to seeing the positive impact Safer Stronger Crawley brings in the coming months.”