Wilby Parish Council

Serving the People of Wilby

The Horse Shoe

Clerk: Mrs Vicky Smith
18 Bakehouse Lane, Mears
Ashby, Northampton
Northamptonshire NN6 0ED

Tel: 01604 812239

Millions Of Pounds Recovered From Criminal Assets As Police Launch Campaign To Encourage More Reporting - Operation Bling

With £3.7 million pounds recovered in the past five years from criminal activity, officers are further ramping up their efforts in a new campaign to take criminals' cash, cars and other property.

Too much Bling? Give us a Ring! – is the message from officers in Northamptonshire who are looking to increase reports from the public on people who are living a lifestyle that is beyond their means through committing crime.

Through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, financial investigators will look into the lifestyles of those who are living off criminal gains and where possible, look to recover the benefit that they are making.

Confiscation proceedings can be brought after a person is convicted of drugs, fraud, or other offences where they have financially benefited.

A confiscation order is granted which allows officers to retrieve the sum of the benefit made by criminals.

The investigators will attempt to identify all potential assets held by the convicted person, up to the value of their confiscation order.

If sufficient assets cannot be identified, then a Confiscation Order for the actual amount identified will be granted by a judge.

Offenders are granted between 30 days and three months to pay. If they fail to do so, they can face a further prison sentence.

The difference between the identified assets and rest of the benefit figure will remain as an unpaid debt – for the rest of their lives if necessary - until it is cleared in full by the individual.

When further assets are identified the Confiscation Order will be re-visited by investigators through the courts.

Northamptonshire Police hope Operation Bling will encourage the public to report on those who have not paid their confiscation orders in full or are living a lifestyle that seems too good to be true.

Often signs of this type of activity includes wearing expensive jewellery or designer clothing, driving expensive cars, living in expensive properties or taking luxury holidays while showing no signs of legitimate work/means to pay for these items.

Detective Superintendent Mark Behan, said: "The vast majority of crime we see is carried out through greed to make money and lead an easy lifestyle. If we can stop people from living a lavish lifestyle on the back of crime then we will take away one of the main motivators.

"The POCA legislation is a powerful tool that police can use to claw-back money from criminals and sends a message to others that a life of crime does not pay.

"We have more than 400 convicted criminals with confiscations orders where the debt remains unpaid, including a convicted drug trafficker who owes £308,000. We need members of the public to give us intelligence so that we can recover outstanding debts and where necessary investigate new cases.

"We know criminals have no respect for boundaries and this new campaign will ensure that no matter where in the East Midlands they may live or travel, they will not escape justice.

"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 you may suspect of being involved in criminality and have unexplained wealth.

"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.

"Information from the public will increase this performance and help to fight crime across the region."

Anyone with information can contact Northamptonshire Police on 101 quoting Operation Bling or report online at www.northants.police.uk/contact/online

Alternatively, they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously

Message Sent By
Paul Hurst (Police, PCSO, Wellingborough )on 0800 555 111.

Posted: Thu, 27 Sep 2018 10:12 by Vicky Smith

Tags: Police Alert