We work to combat the illegal tobacco, alcohol and counterfeit goods trades.
Please contact us in confidence to report somebody who you believe is selling illegal tobacco, alcohol or counterfeit goods.
Illegal tobacco and alcohol
Illegal tobacco and alcohol is often sold ‘under the counter’ in shops or from houses and there's generally no regard for safety or quality. Counterfeit tobacco and alcohol often contains dangerously high levels of toxic chemicals.
Children are known to buy illegal cigarettes and alcohol from complete strangers, who sell them with no regard to laws protecting children from these age restricted products.
These are illegal copies of well-known branded products produced without permission of the company.
These typically include:
- Clothing and footwear
- CDs and DVDs
- Cigarettes and alcohol
Counterfeiting is a serious criminal offence which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
We regularly visit shops, markets and car boot sales, to monitor for counterfeit and illegal goods. We also monitor popular auction and social websites.
We carry out visits to all shops that sell age-restricted products and help them make sure that they don’t break the law.
- Knives and offensive weapons
Buying on behalf of children
It's an offence to buy alcohol on behalf of children. If you're caught you could be issued with an £80 penalty notice or a court could fine you up to £5,000.
Please contact us if you know of anyone who sells age-restricted products to children, or adults who buy these products on behalf of children.
What we do
We test shops by sending in a young volunteer who tries to purchase one of these products. If you sell to our volunteers you'll be prosecuted.
We also investigate cigarettes and alcohol being sold to children from houses.
Responsible Retailer Award Scheme
The Responsible Retailer Award Scheme is aimed at people who sell alcohol in licensed premises, specifically off licenses.
Although directed specifically towards alcohol, it also deals with other age-restricted products.
The scheme provides advice, support and training to retailers and their staff. Please contact us to apply to join the scheme.