Greater Manchester Police continues to work to investigate intercepted illegal packages from abroad, while reminding people of the laws on importing various items.
In recent weeks, The Border Force has successfully intercepted dozens of illegal packages en-route to addresses across the region, passing on the relevant details to neighbourhood teams across GMP.
Those teams then investigate the addresses, looking into the nature of the importations and determining the nature of the criminality involved.
The work, codenamed Operation Concept, is a joint operation between Greater Manchester Police and the Border Force.
A common mistake people can make is that they assume certain items – particularly offensive weapons – may be legal to buy, if found online and seemingly easily available.
However, different countries have different laws, and bringing in something that is legal in another country does not make it legal here.
Items that have been intercepted from abroad include: cocaine, steroids, heroin and other controlled drugs, in addition to weapons such as batons, knuckle dusters, and knives.
As a recent example, on Tuesday morning, a man in his 50s was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in Wythenshawe, after being suspected of purchasing a baton from abroad.
Othe recent examples include the execution of warrants following the interception of the drug khat on its way to a property in Heywood, while an address was raided in Blackley at the end of July, after cannabis was ordered to a house.
Officers have noticed a trend in cannabis coming over to the country and want to make it clear that possession and importation of the drug is illegal and may result in prosecution.
Detective Inspector Lee Newburn, from Greater Manchester Police’s Challenger Team, said: “We continue to work closely with the Border Force, who regularly intercept packages before giving us all the relevant information we need to investigate. Our neighbourhood and organised crime teams investigate appropriately determining on the quantity and severity of what has been ordered.
“People need to understand that buying something from abroad can hold serious risks. Just because something is legal in a different country doesn’t mean it is here. For example, we have noticed a lot of people purchasing cannabis from the United States – in particular from States in which the usage of the drug is legal.
“The harmful drugs and deadly weapons being brought in can ruin lives and we are determined to keep them off the streets and punish those who seek to use them in our communities.
“When it comes to certain items, I appreciate that some people may not know the exact laws for what they want to purchase. Whether it’s some form of weapon, or an ornamental sword for decoration, it is important to know what you can and can’t import. The Home Office’s site has a non-exhaustive list as a guide – I would urge people to visit and have a read. You are able to contact them for further information, should it be required.”
You can find our more information here: UK Trade Tariff: import prohibitions and restrictions – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)