Over £1.6m of seized criminal gains to help communities

MORE than £1.6m has been seized from Derbyshire criminals in the last 12 months for community and crimefighting projects.

Derbyshire Constabulary explained how under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 police are able to strip offenders of ill-gotten gains like cash and assets from criminal activities such as drug dealing or selling stolen goods.

Det Supt Terry Branson said: “Our message to offenders is clear - crime doesn’t pay.

We will pursue you through the criminal and civil courts and any assets you may have will be stripped from you.

“We’re working hard to make sure that anyone who profits through their offending will not only face conviction and possible jail but will also be prevented from enjoying the fruits of their ill-gotten gains.”

The act allows police to confiscate cash from convicted criminals at crown court and cash suspected of coming from crime or for use in crime can be forfeited during a civil hearing at a magistrates’ court.

Between April 1, 2010, and the end of March 2011, assets totalling £1,273,076 were confiscated at crown court, according to police, and during the same period £354,363 was forfeited by magistrates.

Money confiscated by crown court is shared between a Home Office fund, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Court Services and investigating agencies like police or trading standards. Cash forfeited from magistrates can be split between the Government and investigating agencies.