Police seize £1.5m assets from villains

PUBLISHED: 10:28 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

HERTS Police have recovered more than £1.5 million in cash and assets in the first half of this year under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The total of £1,518,398 is the largest amount for a non-urban force and the largest amount compared to most similar sized

HERTS Police have recovered more than £1.5 million in cash and assets in the first half of this year under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The total of £1,518,398 is the largest amount for a non-urban force and the largest amount compared to most similar sized forces. A share of this amount will be given back to police to help fight crime.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, police can seize assets from criminals if they have been funded through crime. The legislation allows the police to hit burglars, car thieves, and drug dealers hard in their pockets and stop them profiting from their actions.

Detective Superintendent Jane Swinburne, Head of Herts Police Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: "This demonstrates the hard work we are putting in to making sure criminals do not benefit from their illegal activities. We want to show them that crime doesn't pay, but it costs and they won't profit from their ill-gotten gains in our county."

She added: "You can help us if you suspect someone in your community of profiting from crime by calling 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. "

Since the act came in to force, Herts Police have seized a Porsche, a Mercedes, a Ferrari, designer clothes, jewellery, cash and even a light aircraft from criminals.

Marianne Vits, development manager for the Herts Criminal Justice Board, said: "Once the Confiscation Order is set, it never goes away until it is paid in full including any interest accrued, even if the prison sentence is served. This is powerful as it keeps this offender in close contact with the court service having to make regular payments. These payments are determined by monitoring their income.

Herts Police Authority Chair Stuart Nagler, said: "This latest success highlights the tremendous work the Constabulary are doing in targeting criminals who are benefiting from their crimes and further reinforces the message that they will come down hard on criminals who are leading a lavish lifestyle funded by their criminal activity.

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