Millions of pounds seized from criminals in Warwickshire after drug trafficking, fraud and theft

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Millions of pounds were taken from criminals in Warwickshire and West Mercia policing areas during the 2014/15 financial year.

Investigations conducted by the alliance’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU) resulted in more than £2.4 million in confiscation orders being granted by the courts under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Fraud, theft and drug trafficking were among the offences and more than £750,000 was awarded to compensate victims from some of those crimes. The ECU also secured more than £100,000 in cash forfeiture applications under the same legislation.

Detective Inspector Mark Glazzard, head of the ECU, said: “This should send out a clear message to all criminals, or those thinking of getting involved in illegal activity, that crime does not pay. This legislation allows us to hit criminals where it can hurt the most - in their pockets.

“I hope that communities are reassured that this significant result shows our commitment to ensuring offenders do not leave the judicial system with the benefit from their criminality intact.

“We work alongside our partner agencies, the Crown Prosecution Service and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, to use all available legislation to secure compensation for victims and to ensure that offenders do not keep hold of their ill-gotten gains.”

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 gives officers the power to seize cash and identify assets, such as cars and houses, that have been bought by criminals through the proceeds of their crimes.

Anyone who suspects people in their neighbourhood could be involved in criminal activity, or living beyond their means, can pass concerns to police on 101. Information can also be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org