Published Tuesday 25 September 2018 at 10:44
A crackdown on illegal tobacco has taken place across the borough.
Four shops were targeted following investigations carried out by Trading Standards staff working within Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Public Protection and Environmental Health teams and were in response to complaints from members of the public.
Some of the investigations involved test purchase operations by 15 year old volunteers. The cases were presented to Blackburn Magistrates’ Court by the Council’s Legal Services team.
The shops were:
- Northgate News, 15 Northgate, Blackburn – a guilty plea was entered for the possession of counterfeit tobacco which was not contained within the standardised, plain packaging now required by law. A conditional discharge was issued along with £20 victim surcharge and £600 costs awarded to the Council.
- Nadeems, 35 Cardwell Place, Blackburn – a guilty plea was entered for selling a single cigarette to a child under the age of 18. The cigarette was sold for £1. A conditional discharge was issued along with £40 victim surcharge and £600 costs awarded to the Council.
- Blakey Moor Newsagents, 11 – 13 Blakey Moor, Blackburn – guilty pleas were entered for selling a single cigarette to a child under the age of 18. A fine of £100 was imposed along with victim surcharge of £30 and costs of £600 awarded to the Council.
- HRS Newsagents, 768 Whalley New Road, Blackburn – no plea was entered as the defendant failed to attend court. They were found guilty of selling a single cigarette to a child under the age of 18. A fine of £1,320 was imposed along with victim surcharge of £132 and costs of £1,100 awarded to the Council.
Councillor Jim Smith, Executive Member for Environment, said:
These premises are breaking the law, pure and simple, and our Trading Standards officers have shown once again that they will take swift action against anyone suspected of flouting the law by selling illegal tobacco.
These sellers are also stealing from taxpaying residents by avoiding paying duty and undermining legitimate traders making an honest living.
I would urge anyone who is aware of illegal cigarettes or tobacco for sale to report it to us.”
If you receive any information about the sale of illegal tobacco or sales of tobacco, alcohol or fireworks to children please let us know by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org