Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Bruiser sniffs out illegal cigarettes and tobacco hidden in Dunstable shop

Friday, 22 November 2019

Sniffer dogs Bruiser and Mostyn have put their noses to good use and helped our Trading Standards team seize illegal hand-rolling tobacco and cigarettes.

Bruiser the sniffer dog

Thanks to Bruiser’s keen nose he showed the team exactly where the contraband was hidden in the undisclosed shop in Dunstable.

The high-speed, canine assisted approach meant that a total of 13 businesses and a residential property across Dunstable and Houghton Regis were able to be searched in just a day.

The joint operation with Bedfordshire police and the pair of specially trained dogs from Wagtail UK was part of the council’s ongoing battle against illegally imported tobacco. Businesses may be tempted to sell illegal tobacco for extra profit, but they are incredibly harmful to people’s health and have links to organised crime.

Imogen Best, our Senior Enforcement Officer said:

Using these remarkable dogs to sniff out illegal goods was a great success, as they were able to get into much smaller and tighter spaces than a human could and highlight any areas where tobacco products were being stored.

The information we get from the public is vital in helping us get these items off the streets. I would urge anyone who suspects that somewhere is selling illicit tobacco to let us know.

Inspector Craig Gurr from the Dunstable and Houghton Regis Policing Team, said:

We are always pleased to work with our partners at the council to tackle this kind of activity, and were pleased with the results of this operation.

The proceeds of illicit activity like this have been shown to fund other forms of criminality, including serious and organised crime. It’s our priority to keep our communities safe, and I hope this provides an example of how we work with our partners to drive out crime.

Anyone concerned that they have been sold counterfeit tobacco, cigarettes or alcohol should tell us by calling 0300 300 8642 or emailing trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.