Sniffer dog Pippa uncovers thousands of pounds worth of hidden illicit goods in Preston

Posted on - 24th November, 2023 - 3:04pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Lancashire Police, Preston News
Sniffer dog Pippa
Sniffer dog Pippa

Sniffer dog Pippa has found hidden cigarettes and tobacco worth £16,000 during Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards and Lancashire Constabulary’s joint raids on seven retailers across Preston and Rossendale.


Trading Standards officers booked a Wagtail sniffer dog team, whose amazing canines are trained to sniff out hidden compartments of tobacco, vapes and money.

The team seized almost 2,000 packs of illegal cigarettes, chewing and hand-rolling tobacco, plus almost 1,000 vapes on Tuesday 21 November and Wednesday 22 November.

More than 40,000 cigarettes and more than 8kg of rolling tobacco were found in a number of clever, purpose-built concealments in shops and storerooms, which saw officers sliding open walls and removing fake screws in hiding places to find hidden stashes.

Read more: Man wanted by Preston Police for serious assault


Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: “Our Trading Standards team joined forces with the police to undertake vital community work. I congratulate them and Pippa, the dog, for their excellent results.

“I encourage anyone to report shops to us that they believe may be behaving in an illegal way.

“Seizing illegal goods makes our local community safer for children, as the sale of these encourages addiction.

“We will not tolerate the exploitation of Lancashire’s young people by unscrupulous businesses and will continue to take action against them.

“We thank the public for their support and would welcome further reports of anything suspicious being made to our Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 2231133.”

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