Police in Tameside, in partnership with Environmental Services, have seized more than 500 bottles of illicit alcohol and £6,000 of tobacco and cigarettes.
Officers made visits to off-licenses as part of a ‘beat sweep’ tackling crime and community concerns in Stalybridge, Dukinfield and Mossley. One hundred and seventy bottles of vodka, 350 bottles of wine and a selection of whiskey was seized.
In addition to the enforcement activity, officers also made crime prevention visits to retail stores and schools and held bike marking events as bike theft tends to increase during the summer months.
Inspector Bill Callaghan, from the Tameside East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:
"The focus on off-licences did produce some surprising results. Although we had information indicating some unlawful activity we did not expect to seize the amounts of illicit alcohol and tobacco that we did.
“However, this is not the end of our action. Along with Customs and Excise and Environmental Services we are now looking at recovering unpaid duty, strengthening conditions on licences, prosecutions and possible closures.
“I would simply ask people to act with caution when offered alcohol or tobacco products at cheap prices. It can be a clear indication that all is not as it seems and in serious cases people can be putting their health at risk. My advice is to contact the police on 101, the new non-emergency number, and pass on your concerns or suspicions or even contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”