Thousands of illegal cigarettes and suspected drugs have been seized by police after a raid on a Hartlepool house.
Officers recovered an estimated 14,000 contraband cigarettes and a large amount of what is believed to be cannabis.
We have responded to the concerns of the local community regarding the sale of drugs in the local areaSergeant Tom Legg, Hartlepool Police
The haul, shown off by Hartlepool Police, is the result of a swoop on a house in Lime Crescent, in the Dyke House area of town.
A man in his 50s has been arrested in connection with the suspected drugs find and police are working with Trading Standards officials in relation to the seized tobacco.
Police say they carried out the search warrant in response to the public’s concerns that the house was being used for the sale of drugs.
Sergeant Tom Legg, from Hartlepool Integrated Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We have responded to the concerns of the local community regarding the sale of drugs in the local area.
“A large amount of cannabis and contraband cigarettes were seized from the address, and we are now working in partnership with the Trading Standards Agency with regards to this.
“Anyone with information regarding drugs activity in their local area or any other criminal activity is encouraged to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”
The raid was carried out on Thursday, November 10, and a 56-year-old man has been arrested and bailed pending further enquiries.
In addition to the suspected cannabis, believed to be worth hundreds of pounds, there was approximately 14,600 cigarettes in total and 299 packs of rolling tobacco.
Hartlepool’s Trading Standards department says the sale of illegal products like those in the latest seizure prevent people from giving up smoking.
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “The council’s Trading Standards team works alongside Cleveland Police in combating the supply of illegal tobacco.
“We want to encourage smokers to give up, and the supply of cheap products such as this simply encourages people to continue, or indeed take up smoking.
“Counterfeit cigarettes often fail to include the necessary health warnings and their ingredients are potentially more lethal.
“Duty is also evaded, diverting money away from essential areas like social services and the NHS.
“Legitimate traders in the area also lose out due to potential customers obtaining cheap illegitimate tobacco from illegal sources.”