Almost 200 suspected fake England shirts and 27,000 illegal cigarettes have been seized after officers stormed a North East address. 

Police executed a warrant in the Meadow Well area of North Shields last Friday after community intelligence suggested the fake tops were being flogged from a property ahead of the Euros. 

Inside, officers discovered almost 200 suspected fake England football tops with a value of £17,000 along with 27,000 counterfeit and/or non-duty-paid cigarettes and around 200 unlawful vapes, with a shared street value of roughly £19,600.

27,000 counterfeit and/or non-duty paid cigarettes were seized (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

A large quantity of illicit hand rolling tobacco was also seized, with the operation involving officers from the North Shields Neighbourhood Policing Team and North Tyneside Trading Standards Team.

Communities 'deserve better' 

Neighbourhood Sergeant for North Shields, James Younas said: "First and foremost I’d like to thank the residents of Meadow Well who continue to put their trust in us and report your concerns, meaning we can take this sort of decisive action.

“As always, a massive thanks also to our partners at North Tyneside Council with whom we work closely to ensure this type of offending is stamped out.

“We’re dogged in our approach to removing these illicit items from circulation. Our communities deserve better than that, and this is just one of many hauls of items we’ve seized in the last few months.”


Sgt Younas added: “These items might seem harmless, and you might be tempted to buy them, but we often see the sale linked to wider types of offending and, often, organised crime.

“With the European Championships starting today, we’d urge people to be careful and check you are buying merchandise from reputable sources.”

An investigation into the seized items is ongoing alongside Trading Standards officers.

Joanne Lee, head of public protection, emergency planning, and community safety at North Tyneside Council, said: "These seizures highlight the critical work our Trading Standards team does in protecting the community from fake merchandise and illegal tobacco products. 

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“All cigarettes are harmful and vapes are effective in helping people to quit smoking, but by purchasing non-compliant goods, buyers are putting themselves at greater risk.

“We are committed to working with the Police to crack down on these fraudulent activities and ensure that North Tyneside remains a safe place to live, work and visit. We encourage residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to help us combat this issue effectively."

Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity can do so on the Northumbria Police Website.