POLICE seized £100,000 worth of illegal tobacco and cigarettes seized in a joint operation in Hartlepool.

Cleveland Police, HMIC and Trading Standards carried out several raids on Murray Street and Charterhouse Street in Hartlepool on Friday morning.

The action was part of Operation Sentinel in a bid to crack down on criminal activity after members of the public raised concerns over criminality in their communities.

A barbers and a convenience store on Murray Street and a property on Charterhouse Street were targeted in total.

Hartlepool Neighbourhood Sergeant Adrian Dack said: “The operation today has been a success and we have confiscated a large amount of tobacco and cigarettes which would have no doubt have been sold illegally on the streets of Hartlepool.

“Today’s operation wasn’t solely about recovering illegal goods, it was also to highlight to our communities that we do listen to them and we will do everything we can to disrupt criminal activity."