Police donate hundreds of seized counterfeit clothes to Manchester charity to ‘combat poverty’

It's part of Greater Manchester Police's ongoing 'Operation Vulcan'.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 12th December 2023

Hundreds of clothing items seized by police from counterfeit shops in Manchester have now been donated to a local charity that works to “combat poverty”.

The initiative is part of the ongoing ‘Operation Vulcan’.

In case you’re unfamiliar with ‘Operation Vulcan’, it’s Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) mission to crackdown on the sale of counterfeit goods and hit the finances of the gangs operating out of the Cheetham Hill and Strangeways areas of Manchester.

It comes after hundreds of raids have been carried on counterfeit shops in the area over the last 14 months, with thousands of tonnes of counterfeit items removed from the streets from criminal’s pockets, who police say were “once making millions of pounds of profits from this lucrative trade”.

GMP says a “top priority” for ‘Operation Vulcan’ was to “minimise waste” and make sure the counterfeit items seized were “put to better use”.


And so, by working with a specialist company, almost 1,000 tonnes of counterfeit items have since been repurposed or recycled, and subsequently turned into useful products which the people of Greater Manchester and beyond can benefit from.

To give an example of this, police say some of the hats, t-shirts, and gloves made from safe materials were de-branded and then given to charities and local community organisations.


Items that were deemed unsuitable or unsafe have been shredded to create completely new items, such as bedding or blankets, and even the packaging and boxes that the items are sold in are able to be recycled into insulation for houses.

None of the counterfeit items seized during ‘Operation Vulcan’ go to waste, GMP insists.

Just this week alone, GMP’s dedicated ‘Operation Vulcan’ team donated hundreds of items of clothes to a local charity called Mustard Tree – which works to combat poverty, inequality, and homelessness in Manchester.


“The community and their needs are at the heart of Operation Vulcan,” explained Inspector Dan Cullum, who is one of Operation Vulcan’s specialist officers, “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.”

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Harry Dwan from the Mustard Tree added: “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.

“We can’t thank Tim and the Operation Vulcan team enough.”

Featured Image – GMP