A shop and adjoining flat have been ordered to close after storing and selling illicit tobacco and illegal vapes and allegations of selling these items to children.

On Thursday, 26 October, Eston Daily at 168 High Street, Eston, and the flat above were ordered to be closed for three months under crime and anti-social behaviour laws.

At the hearing, magistrates were made aware that inspections by Trading Standards took place at the premises in November 2022 during which counterfeit cigarettes and non-compliant vapes were seized.

The Northern Echo: The closure order attached to Eston DailyThe closure order attached to Eston Daily (Image: REDCAR AND CLEVELAND BOROUGH COUNCIL)

The premises continued to be a concern to the council after complaints were received about the sale of cheap, illicit cigarettes and the sale of illegal vapes. 

Allegations were received that these products were also being sold to children.

Other criminal activities alleged to be taking place at the premises were referred to Cleveland Police.

The Northern Echo: Eston Daily will be closed for three monthsEston Daily will be closed for three months (Image: REDCAR AND CLEVELAND BOROUGH COUNCIL)

During joint enforcement action with another agency in August 2023, illicit tobacco and illegal vapes were found concealed under the floor of a cupboard in the flat above the shop.

Illicit cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco were also discovered in the shop.

Cabinet Member for Health, Welfare and Housing at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Cllr Ursula Earl, said: “These kinds of criminal activities will never be tolerated, as they not only impact honest businesses, but they put the health and safety of children at risk while they follow their interest without regards to the law or people’s wellbeing.

"I would like to thank our Trading Standards officers and Cleveland Police for their efforts in securing the Closure Order.”

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Magistrates were informed that the business operator had been in control of the shop since the inspections first took place in November 2022 and despite receiving advice on complying with the law relating to age-restricted sales and a formal warning about the sale of counterfeit cigarettes, criminal activities were still taking place.

Magistrates ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the illegal goods seized by Trading Standards.

Chief Inspector Jon Hagen from Redcar and Cleveland Neighbourhood Policing Team at Cleveland Police, added: “We will continue to work with our local authority partners to tackle and deal with those who do not abide by the law and cause misery within our local communities.”