Don’t let Criminals Splash the Cash!

By published 9 January, 2014 No Comments

Cleveland Police, with the support of the Police and Crime Commissioner, is stepping up its efforts to seize money and assets from criminals.

The Force’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU) already makes good use of the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to strip lawbreakers of vehicles, jewellery, cash and even houses, with a number of recent high profile cases highlighted in the local and regional media.

Since the 1st April 2013, the ECU has obtained 23 Cash Forfeiture Orders valued at £148, 820.44 and 67 Confiscation Orders valued at £820, 977.12.

In addition, another circa £400, 000 cash (estimated because not all of the cash has been counted) has been seized, the majority of which will be made the subject of an application for either a Cash Forfeiture Order or a Confiscation Order.

Under the terms of the Home Office Asset Recovery Scheme (ARIS) Cleveland Police receive a proportion of the monies that are collected as a result of the enforcement of POCA orders. Since 2008 / 9, Cleveland Police has received £1.3 million, which has been used to tackle serious and organised crime.

Under the new “Don’t let them Splash the Cash” campaign the Force is urging the public to help by forwarding intelligence on any suspected crime funded lifestyle.

Temp Det Chief Supt Peter McPhillips, said: “We already work tirelessly to target people we suspect are making a very good living from the proceeds of crime and we do all we can to bring them before the courts.  We then use the Proceeds of Crime Act of 2002 to seize what assets we can.

“At the end of 2012 Cleveland Police introduced our Financial Intelligence and Investigation Strategy to increase the use of financial intelligence and investigation.  Every police officer and member of police staff was informed of this, so awareness within the Force is very high.

“We are now calling on residents to get on board with us and help us identify people who are clearly living beyond their legitimate means.”

PCC Barry Coppinger added: “The ECU has a proven track record in bringing people before the courts and then seizing illegally gained assets and I’m impressed by their determination to build on this success.

“These are difficult economic times for many people and it is simply not right that some people are living beyond their means as a result of crime or fraud.  If members of the public have their suspicions about someone in their community who has an expensive lifestyle without any apparent means of supporting this, I’d urge them to get in touch and we’ll do the rest.”

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