Criminals pay back

CRIMINALS in Cambridgeshire have been stripped of £630,000 in the past financial year.

The cash has been recovered by police under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Officers successfully targeted 104 criminals through confiscation orders amounting to £480,000 and £70,000 in drug forfeiture orders.

Det Chief Insp Jim McCrorie said: “The Proceeds of Crime Act enables us to disrupt criminals’ ability to profit from their crimes.

“In the past year we have targeted more than 100 criminals and a number of individuals we believe have made money illegally but have not faced criminal charges.”

Police have also secured 10 cash forfeiture orders amounting to £83,000. These seizures can be made by an officer who believes the cash is being made through illegal activity or is intended for use in illegal activity.

Officers also secured 24 restraint orders which prevent criminals from spending money or selling items or property.

DCI McCrorie added: “We will use all of the powers available to ensure those people who have made money from criminal activity pay it back.

“If offenders do not have the full amount they have profited at the time of the confiscation order we will maintain records of what they owe and continue to apply for confiscation orders as soon as that money becomes available.

“We will relentlessly target criminals and ensure we disrupt their criminal activity.”

Police are able to instigate confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act where it can be proved that an offender has benefited financially from their criminality.

The criminal benefit is assessed, and an amount for confiscation is ordered by the court. If the offender fails to pay the confiscation amount, a prison sentence is imposed in default (the confiscation amount still has to be paid on their release).

The confiscated amount, once paid, goes to the Home Office and is divided between the courts, CPS, and the police.