Police 'repurpose and recycle' 300 tonnes of counterfeit goods seized in Manchester

From cheap copies to a luxury dog bed - how police are repurposing confiscated counterfeits Credit: MEN Media/ Greater Manchester Police

Police cracking down on shops selling fake luxury goods in a community known as the 'counterfeit capital of the UK' say they have 'repurposed and recycled everything' they have confiscated.

Counterfeit shops in Cheetham Hill and Strangeways in Manchester have proven links to criminal gangs, drugs distribution, modern slavery, and money laundering.

In the past six months, Greater Manchester Police's (GMP) Operation Vulcan has raided dozens of shops and confiscated millions of pounds worth of counterfeit goods.

Unfortunately, the stock cannot be sold on after it is seized so officers are working to minimise waste and make sure cheap copies are put to better use.

What happens to counterfeit goods after they are confiscated by police?

Working with Lighthouse Security, GMP have been able to repurpose over 300 tonnes of counterfeit items, turning them into useful, safe products.

Hats, t-shirts and gloves, made from safe materials that do not pose a risk to health, can be de-branded and given to charities and local community organisations.

Unsuitable or unsafe items get shredded and then reused to create items like dog bedding or horse blankets.

Even the packaging and boxes the items are sold in gets re-used and recycled and can create insulation for houses.

Bury New Road is infamous for its counterfeit trade and police have raided dozens of shops in the last six months. Credit: Greater Manchester Police/ MEN Media

GMP say none of the counterfeit items that officers seize go to waste, Lighthouse Security find a solution for everything.

Inspector Andy Torkington, one of Operation Vulcan’s specialist officers, said: “The community and their needs are at the heart of Operation Vulcan and the fact we have been able to repurpose and recycle everything and give it back to those in need really makes a difference.

“We are seeing excellent progress in the area, but there is still a long way to go until the criminality is eradicated.

"Our police presence will not stop, and we will continue to work with our partners to deliver on our promises to revitalise the area and protect the communities of Cheetham Hill and Strangeways."

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