UK police donate seized counterfeit clothing to charity

Tonnes of counterfeit items seized by UK police in raids against illicit traders in Manchester have been repurposed or recycled, turning them into useful, safe products.

To date, almost 1,000 tonnes of counterfeit items – mainly clothing – have been processed by a specialist company as a result of a major crackdown on illicit trade in the city known as Operation Vulcan.

For example, some of the hats, T-shirts and gloves – which are made from safe materials – were de-branded and given to charities and local community organisations. Items that are unsuitable or unsafe are shredded to create totally new items such as bedding or blankets. Even the packaging and boxes that the items are sold in can be recycled into insulation for houses.

“None of the counterfeit items that Operation Vulcan seize go to waste,” said Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in a statement. “This week, the team donated hundreds of items of clothes to a local charity called the Mustard Tree, which works to combat poverty, inequality, and homelessness in Manchester.”

GMP said in November that in just 12 months the operation resulted in the seizure of 1,040 tonnes of counterfeit goods worth an estimated £143.5m ($177m), closed down around 200 shops selling them, and seized over half a million pounds of illicit cash as well as large numbers of prescription drugs and suspected counterfeit vapes.

“This donation is gratefully received and will now be provided to those who need it most such as those sleeping on the streets, low-income families and those who are most vulnerable in the community,” said the charity’s chief executive Harry Dwan.

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

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