A HAUL of fake clothing seized during raids on counterfeit goods traders will be used to help train police sniffer dogs in Derbyshire.
Derbyshire County Council’s trading standards officers handed over more than 1,100 items to Derbyshire Police.
The clothes had been seized as evidence in a counterfeiting case in which the offender was convicted last year.
Until recently, trading standards officers would have the items ‘de-branded’ before giving them away to good causes.
But now the county council wants to support the county’s police dog trainers who need dummy clothing for exercises.
The clothes, which included hoodies and T-shirts, will be used in scenarios where the dogs are trained to hunt for narcotics and cash.
PC Ian Carter, a dog trainer with Derbyshire Police, said: “We put a lot of work into carefully selecting and training our dogs to carry out this vitally important role.
“These clothes will help us reconstruct lifelike scenarios where sniffer dogs learn to distinguish the scent of drugs, cash and a range of other items in the most challenging environments.”
Every year the council’s trading standards officers seize hundreds of counterfeit and unsafe goods that are often passed off as genuine.
Counterfeit items range from Prada bags to DVDs. But clothing and footwear featuring counterfeit labelling for brands such as Nike trainers and Ugg boots are among the most confiscated goods.
Dave Allen, the county council’s cabinet member for health and communities, said: “It’s a great relief to take these clothes out of circulation, and even more satisfying that they will now be used on the front line against illegal drugs and organised crime.
“Most of these clothes were seized in raids on an established criminal enterprise that was competing with genuine retailers on an almost industrial scale.
“Thankfully, we closed this operation down and made sure the culprit was duly prosecuted.
“But disposing of the goods in a way that’s consistent with our environmental and ethical policies presents a real challenge for us.”