Closure order on three stores for counterfeit and stolen goods
A closure order has been granted for three stores in Liverpool following numerous seizures of counterfeit cigarettes, Nicotine Inhaling Devices (vapes) and stolen mobile phones.
Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council were successful in obtaining a closure order on Local Express Broad Lane, Easy Store Dale Street and Beatles News on Victoria Street at Liverpool Magistrates court yesterday (Wednesday 20 December).
The order was granted under Section 80 of the Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The order prevents anyone from accessing the premises and the owners may not trade from the premises while the closure order is in place. The order is in force for three months and expires on Tuesday 19 March 2024.
Local Policing Inspector Jack Woodward said: “For the past 12 months these stores have become hotspot locations for anti-social behaviour and the sale of illegal vapes, nitrous oxide and cannabis vapes. We have been working closely during this period with colleagues from Liverpool City Council Alcohol and Tobacco Unit to take action to minimise the effect this store has had on the local community, with several thousands of pounds worth of illegal capacity vapes having been seized over this period of time.
“On Monday 4th September 2023 a 30-year-old man from Bootle was arrested after being stopped by our officers in his vehicle in possession of a quantity of cannabis vapes and stolen mobile phones.
“Searches of two stores were conducted where a large quantity of mobile phones were also seized.
“I hope this result shows the steps we will take to remove any counterfeit goods from our stores and community.
“Whenever we receive intelligence about illegal goods, we work closely with city councils and Trading Standards to investigate and take appropriate action.
“Criminals involved in selling counterfeit goods often use the profits to fund other organised crime, and with that often comes violence, which can have devastating effects on the local community.
“I am keen that anyone else that knows someone involved in selling illicit tobacco or counterfeit goods to get in touch so we can continue to remove these products off the streets.”
Councillor Harry Doyle, Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “The closure of these stores sends out a strong message to shops supplying illegal vapes and counterfeit goods.
“This is just one of a number of prosecutions that we are bringing to court, in addition to hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of illegal vapes we have seized.
“Anyone who knows of a store that is selling these type of products should get in touch with the authorities so we can investigate.”
Anyone that knows of any stores involved is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.