Three Liverpool city centre shops closed by police

You could go to jail for entering one of these 'hotspot locations'.

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Merseyside Police have closed three shops in Liverpool city centre where counterfeit goods have been seized.

A closure order was granted against Easy Store on Dale Street, Beatles News on Victoria Street and Local Express on Broad Lane.

These locations had became "hotspot locations' for anti-social behaviour, the sale of illegal vapes and cannabis vapes and the sale of nitrous oxide.

The order - obtained from Liverpool Magistrates Court on Wednesday - prevents anyone from accessing the shop and means the owners cannot trade from the site while the closure order is in place.

It will last for three months and expires on Tuesday, March 19 2024. Those in breach of the closure order could risk a fine and three months in prison.

Local policing inspector Jack Woodward said: "For the past 12 months these stores have become hotspot locations for anti-social behaviour and the sale of illegal vapes, nitrous oxide and cannabis vapes.

"We have been working closely during this period with colleagues from Liverpool City Council Alcohol and Tobacco Unit  to take action to minimise the effect this store has had on the local community, with several thousands of pounds worth of illegal capacity vapes having been seized over this period of time. "On Monday 4th September 2023 a 30-year-old man from Bootle was arrested after being stopped by our officers in his vehicle in possession of a quantity of cannabis vapes and stolen mobile phones.  

"Searches of two stores were conducted where a large quantity of mobile phones were also seized. I hope this result shows the steps we will take to remove any counterfeit goods from our stores and community." He added: “Criminals involved in selling counterfeit goods often use the profits to fund other organised crime, and with that often comes violence, which can have devastating effects on the local community.

Cllr Harry Doyle, cabinet member for public health, said: "The closure of these stores sends out a strong message to shops supplying illegal vapes and counterfeit goods. This is just one of a number of prosecutions that we are bringing to court, in addition to hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of illegal vapes we have seized."