The independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers this week launches a new campaign in Thames Valley to tackle the issue of illegal tobacco.
In partnership with Trading Standards offices across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire the public is being urged to recognise the damage that sales of illegal tobacco have on their local communities.
The campaign is being delivered through radio adverts, posters, leaflets and a Facebook advert and asks the public to contact the charity if they have any information on who or where illegal rolling tobacco and cigarettes are being sold.
“Illegal tobacco sales can be easily overlooked and considered no more than holiday makers ‘doing someone a favour’. Everyone loves a bargain but the sale of illegal tobacco can have a knock–on cost to our local communities,” comments Phil Gomm, Chair for Thames Valley Crimestoppers.
“Sales are generally associated with crimes of smuggled and counterfeit tobacco and often linked with serious organised crime gangs. It can also bring our young people into early contact with criminals.”
Trading Standards in Thames Valley are determined to crack down on traders of illegal tobacco but they need information from the public if they are to be successful. They recognise that often people know what is happening in their communities but are too scared to speak out to the authorities.
Crimestoppers offers people an anonymous and safe route to inform on the criminals involved in illegal tobacco sales. Where are they trading? Who are they? Do you think you know where the tobacco is being stored or made?
To give information about crime anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. Contacting the charity is completely anonymous, calls are not recorded, IP addresses are untraceable and no one will ever know you called.