Council committed to helping tackle illegal tobacco
South Holland District Council has reinforced its stance against the issue of illegal cigarette sales in the district and pledged to continue to assist authorities in trying to eradicate them from shops.
The council is working together with Lincolnshire County Council Trading Standards and the other responsible authorities on a programme of work to tackle illegal tobacco in South Holland.
There have been four deaths in Spalding caused by illegal cigarettes in recent years and the need to spread awareness of the dangers they pose, as well as stopping their sale, is an essential part of dealing with the issue.
While South Holland District Council may not have a statutory responsibility or powers for monitoring and dealing with illegal tobacco, with this normally falling to HMRC or Trading Standards, it fully supports the national initiatives to deal with it and will join in dealing with this as a local issue affecting the lives and wellbeing of the community as a whole.
Coun Anthony Casson, portfolio holder for public protection, said: “Aside from the clear and well-known safety issues associated with some illegal tobacco products, it’s clear that illegal sales from shops, the internet and social media are taking crucial business away from legitimate retailers.
“We have always taken a hard line against illegal cigarettes in South Holland and over recent years a number of licensed premises have had their premise licence revoked by the Licensing Authority following evidence provided by the police or trading standards regarding selling illegal tobacco.
"We recognise how important an issue this is and will be doing everything within our power to help tackle it and ensure that South Holland is a safe place to live and work.”
Positive steps that the council is taking and is planning for the future include training officers to spot and tackle shops selling illegal tobacco and supporting Trading Standards on inspections and test purchases to identify businesses that are breaking the law.
The council would encourage anyone who believes a trader is supplying illegal, fake or duty free goods such as cigarettes to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.