Joint operation targets counterfeit goods trade in Cheetham Hill
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Nine arrested during a joint operation targeting the counterfeit goods trade in the Cheetham Hill area of North Manchester.
This week (Monday 18 – Friday 22 July 2022), GMP, North West Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, the Intellectual Property Office and other partner agencies have executed warrants and exercised powers to fight, prevent and reduce crimes being committed in this area which have an impact locally, regionally and nationally.
Large quantities of counterfeit goods and drugs were seized, alongside a significant sum of cash.
Detective Superintendent Neil Blackwood said: “This week of intensification is about so much more than the counterfeit goods trade, which Cheetham Hill and more specifically the Strangeways area is nationally known for.
“The trade, which often involves organised crime groups, is strongly linked to money laundering and immigration offences. We also know the area is a hotspot for sexual offences and traffic offences.
“Too often unbeknownst to members of the public who buy counterfeit goods, they are often produced using poor quality materials and/ or banned substances which put health at risk.
“Ourselves and our partner agencies are committed to ridding this area of criminal activity and will use all powers at our disposal. We will be taking proactive and robust action against this trade in Strangeways. Members of the public can be reassured that this is a priority for us.”
Detective Sergeant Adam Williams from the Police Intellectual Property Unit (PIPCU) at the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU) said: "Whenever we receive intelligence about illegal goods, we work closely with our colleagues at the City of London Police, local forces and other partners to investigate and take appropriate action. This week’s activity should send a clear message that we will stop at nothing to tackle this issue and it's a priority we will continue to crack down on.
"The counterfeit goods trade isn’t a victimless crime. Often criminals use the profits to fund other organised crime, and with that often comes violence, which can have devastating effects on the local community. The staff employed to run these counterfeit shops are often vulnerable people who are paid below the minimum wage, whilst the criminals enjoy lavish lifestyles from the proceeds of their crimes.”
Detective Chief Inspector Suzanne Ferris, of the City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit said: “The low price of counterfeit goods makes them an appealing prospect to consumers, but the money spent on them often ends up lining the pockets of criminals.
“This week’s activity should send a strong message that the sale of counterfeit items will not be tolerated, and we will continue to work with our partners to crack down on the counterfeit goods trade in the Strangeways area.”
Information about crime can be shared via gmp.police.uk or 101. In an emergency, always dial 999. Information can also be shared anonymously via the independent charity – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
As part of the force's ongoing recruitment, additional officers are being deployed into our Specialist Operations branch who were involved in this week of action. If you'd like to join them, apply now: gmp.police.uk/recruitment