Video: Pups sniff out illegal tobacco imports

Sniffer dogs have been out in Leamington and Warwick to help unearth illegal cigarettes on sale in the towns and show off their skills to the public.

The Trading Standards team joined up with spaniels, Scampi and Yoyo to show off their sniffing skills and encourage residents to share information on where illegally imported products are being sold.

Simon Cripwell and Stuart Phillips with Yoyo

Simon Cripwell and Stuart Phillips with Yoyo

The dogs from B.M.Y Canine have so far helped uncover thousands of illegal cigarettes being sold across the county said trading standards officer, Simon Cripwell.

Mr Cripwell said: “It is about raising awareness of what we do and hoping people will share intelligence on where these illegal products are being sold. We know they are on sale and we have uncovered hoards in Leamington.”

The dogs are trained by former MOD handler, Stuart Phillips who has up to 12 dogs at a time, all rescued from homeless shelters and trained to sniff out anything from cash and alcohol to bodies and blood in a matter of months.

He said: “I use spaniels as they have incredible noses and for them the smells are easy to distinguish.

I use spaniels as they have incredible noses and for them the smells are easy to distinguish

Stuart Phillips

“They are all rescue dogs, it just gives them a second chance in life.”

The dogs are trained to sniff out tobacco from storage areas, rather than on people.

Warwickshire County Council has warned against the sale of illegal tobacco, which is often sold at “pocket money prices” to young people, and can come with increased health risks.

Contact the team on 0300 303 2636 to report illegal products on sale in the district.

Trading Standards were out in Leamington

Trading Standards were out in Leamington

Yoyo the spaniel

Yoyo the spaniel