Tobacco seized and staff suspected to be working illegally in takeaways in Hartlepool

Police attended three takeaways in Hartlepool as part of Operation Sentinel and found suspected illegal workers.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 4:49 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th November 2019, 6:08 pm
Police worked with other agencies to search the properties.

At around 5pm of Saturday, November 32 Hartlepool Community Safety Team targeted three takeaways in the town.

With assistance from the Operational Support Unit, Dog Support Unit and Roads Policing Unit they carried out visits in conjunction with officers from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Trading Standards, Immigration Enforcement and Cleveland Fire Brigade at three takeaway shops on York Road and Raby Road.

An unspecified amount of tobacco was seized from addresses on both roads by HMRC.

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Searches took place on York Road and Raby Road.

Immigration Enforcement officers carried out checks on workers at two shops in the town and found four staff who were potentially working in the UK illegally.

If this is found to be the case, it could result in a £20,000 fine per illegal worker unless employers can demonstrate right-to-work checks were carried out.

They also conducted a misuse of drugs warrant was at one of the takeaways but no drugs were seized.

Sergeant Adrian Dack, of the Hartlepool Community Safety Team, said: “Today’s joint operation shows how together we can tackle the effects of organised crime with the assistance and support of our partners. The drive and desire from them to support us in taking positive action is commendable.

"We are collectively sending out the message that the community won’t tolerate such criminality and they are providing us with the information that enables us to get on the front foot. The Community is seeing the results of our proactivity and how we have been able to maximise our opportunities by utilising the powers of our partners. There is more to come from us as we wont stop there.”

If you have information regarding drugs, drug related activity or other illegal activity, you can contact police on 101 or the Hartlepool Community Safety Team on their contact number 01429 523100.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers to remain anonymous on 0800 555 111 or message them online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org