Dixie the detection dog springs into action

 05 October 2017  |  

Dixie gets ready to use her super senses

Dixie gets ready to use her super senses

South Ayrshire Council has been working with partners of the four-legged kind to clamp down on the sale of illicit cigarettes and tobacco to under 18's.

Springer Spaniel Dixie and her handler joined Council Trading Standards officers to inspect premises in Ayr following a tip off.

Dixie who has been specially trained to sniff out illegal tobacco quickly tracked down a number of illicit cartons of cigarettes with foreign labelling which didn't comply with plain packaging and health warning requirements. 

The cigarettes were seized and a fine issued for breaches of the legislation. Investigations are continuing into alleged tobacco labelling offences so further action could be taken.

Selling illegal tobacco is taken very seriously and anyone caught faces enforcement action, which can range from on the spot fines to being reported to the Procurator Fiscal which can ultimately lead to imprisonment.

Councillor Ian Cochrane, Sustainability and the Environment Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "We are continuing to work with our partners to stamp out illegal underage sales and protect people from illicit tobacco products.

"The message is clear, if you fail to comply with tobacco legislation and are selling to under 18's, you will be caught and you could face prison."

South Ayrshire Council will continue to monitor tobacco sales and further raids are due to take place with Dixie and Police Scotland in the near future. 

The Council's Trading Standards team will also be working with young people to catch irresponsible traders who sell to underage customers.

If you have information or suspicions of anyone being involved in the supply of illicit tobacco products or underage tobacco sales please call South Ayrshire Council on 0300 123 0900 and ask for Trading Standards.