Closure orders issued against several Lincoln city centre businesses selling illegal goods

Seven shops in Lincoln have had closure orders secured against them after being found to sell counterfeit or banned goods. Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police have seized illegal goods from several premises on High Street and Portland Street in the city.

The Police Alcohol Licensing Team worked with Trading Standards to conduct test purchasing operations at each business, with evidence being collected over a six-month period. These businesses include Mr Chippy at 137 High Street, High Street Vapes at 390 High Street, Top Mini Market at 380 High Street and Universal Vape at 373 High Street.

As well as Vape Center at 374 High Street, Kikush at 371 High Street and Portland Vapes at 11 Portland Street. However, a Trading Standards officer has warned that seven closures being secured in two days shows how serious the problem is for Lincoln.

On Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27, three-month closure orders were issued for these businesses at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. A closure order means that businesses cannot trade from the premises during this time.

Each of these businesses has also had large signs placed to inform the public that they are no longer open, and the only person who can be on the premises during this time is the landlord, solely for maintenance purposes. Anyone else entering the premises is committing an offence and could be arrested, which could lead to imprisonment, a fine or the order being extended.

A large amount of tobacco products were seized
A large amount of tobacco products were seized

Principal Lincolnshire Trading Standards officer, Andy Wright, said: “It is no coincidence that we find shops selling illegal cigarettes and vapes in areas where there is a public perception of high crime and where residents feel particularly vulnerable. This isn’t a situation that is unique to Lincoln, the same can be said of virtually every other town in Lincolnshire.

“These are not shops that sell a few cigarettes or vapes ‘on the side’. Instead, they exist solely to supply illegal goods. The shops are operated by criminals and out of county organised crime groups.”

He continued: “We will continue to work with our partners in the police to remove this blight from our town centres. The fact that we have secured seven closure orders in just two days in Lincoln alone shows the extent of the problem.”

The maximum period that these closure orders can last is three months, and so plans have been put in place to help landlords remove criminal tenats from their premises. Additionally, if action taken by the landlords is not enough to stop the criminal activity, Trading Standards can apply to the court for closure extensions.

A large quantity of vapes have been seized
A large quantity of vapes have been seized

Sergeant Simon Garside from the local neighbourhood policing team, said: “Shops that sell illegal and illicit products pose a significant threat – but I understand that it might not be quite clear to the broader public what that is when it might seem like ‘just a few vapes’. In fact, we know that there is often a bigger picture behind the scene.

“Every case is different, but the issues we are concerned with is the broader criminality linked to organised crime groups operating from a distance. The associated crime and issues might include human trafficking, money laundering and tax offences, hindering the prosperity of legitimate local business; as well as the significant health and safety implications linked to these illegal tobacco and vape products.”

He continued: “For Lincolnshire Police and our partner agencies, this is a really important and serious issue to tackle. This is not only a public health issue, this is a larger, more complex criminal issue that we are tackling head on.

“We’ll continue to use every piece of legislation that’s available to prosecute people behind these shops, and that includes the option to apply to extend the order by a further three months if needed. These extensions can give us the time needed to put other plans in place to keep those individuals out of the area for good. ”

Anyone who has information about illegal vapes or cigarettes being sold in Lincolnshire is asked to report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via

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