CAMPAIGN: Too much bling? Give us a ring!
Head down to Market Square today (Wednesday 3 October 2018) to find out how you can help put a stop to criminals benefitting from their crimes in Nottinghamshire.
An event is taking place between 10am and 2pm to launch Nottinghamshire Police’s part of the regional Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) campaign.
On display, will be a brand new BMW X5 (pictured) which was seized from a convicted criminal and officers will be on hand giving out information and answering questions along with Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping and Trading Standards officers from the city council.
The campaign, which is being run across the forces in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, aims to encourage people to report anyone who might be living beyond their means and or making money from criminal activity.
WHAT IS POCA?
Any money made as the result of crime, or obtained in connection with an offence, can be recovered by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Confiscation proceedings can be brought after a conviction for drugs, fraud and other offences where there has been financial gain.
Anything bought with proceeds of crime can also be confiscated – cars, jewellery, even homes.
Officers compile a report that shows what gain a criminal has made from a crime. A judge is then able to put in place an order for the person to repay an amount immediately – usually within 30 days or face a prison sentence – and then the balance will remain on their criminal file.
This is where we need the help of people across the East Midlands to let us know if someone in their community is living beyond their means – either as a convicted criminal or if they are suspected of being involved in criminality.
Detective Inspector Rob Routledge who is head of the force’s Financial Investigations Unit said: “We have been working really hard in Nottinghamshire to identify monies owed by convicted criminals in the county since POCA legislation was introduced in 2003. These individuals are now subject to a recovery order which allows us to keep taking money and assets from them until the debt is paid.
“To date, over £16m worth of assets have been recovered from convicted criminals and in the last financial year we recovered nearly £3m, but there is clearly more work to be done and that’s why we need the public’s help.
“If you know someone is a convicted criminal and they have a new car on the drive, a shiny watch on their wrist or have been on yet another holiday – then we want to hear about it. We also want to hear about people who think are involved in criminality and have unexplained wealth.
Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “This is a really positive, collaborative campaign between all the forces in the region, other agencies such as Trading Standards and most importantly, members of the public. Money is the main motivator for criminal activity so if we can prevent criminals from living a lavish lifestyle as a result of their crimes, it will act as a deterrent. It also means that the more money we are able to claw back, the more that we can pump back in to our communities and fund positive projects and initiatives.
Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, Cllr Toby Neal, said: “We’re pleased to be raising awareness of these issues alongside our police colleagues so that criminals can be stopped from benefitting from their activities.
“Just like the police, Trading Standards prosecutions for offences such as selling counterfeit goods, engaging in doorstep crime or scamming the elderly, can result in Proceeds of Crime action being taken. This means that the court will be asked to claw back the monies criminals have made from their crimes, which then either goes to compensate the victims, or back into resources to tackle more criminal activity.”
Money taken using the legislation is used to further target criminals and their assets and help make communities safer through the funding of various policing initiatives.
If you want to pass on any information, please call us on 101 quoting ‘Op Bling. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.