POLICE have seized almost £1.5m. worth of criminals’ cash and assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act over the past nine months in Lancashire.
Between April 1st and December 1st, officers secured confiscation orders to the value of £1.08m. and obtained forfeiture orders worth £376,554 with much of the money going back to victims of crime or to fund further financial investigations.
The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) presents the police with opportunities to deprive criminals of anything that represents profit from crime, whether it is money, cars, houses or any other valuable asset.
The Act enables the police to tackle criminality on both a criminal and civil level – money can be seized without a conviction being gained.
Det. Insp Andy Ellis, of the proceeds of crime unit, said: “It often frustrates law abiding people who work hard to earn their money when they see criminals living a life of luxury on the back of their ill gotten gains. Upstanding members of the community should not have to tolerate this, which is why we use the POCA legislation to strip criminals of the trappings of their illegal activities. Expensive jewellery, flash cars, large homes – these things have been achieved at someone else’s expense and where we can we will take them from criminals in addition to any sentence they are given by the courts.”
Anyone with information should ring 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.