Officers from Cheshire Constabulary will this week be stepping up on the use of legislation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to ensure that criminals get the message that crime does not pay. Officers and staff across the Force will be working with their local communities to gather vital information on local criminal activity. This type of information is key to solving and preventing crime in local communities.
They will also be talking to people about the Proceeds of Crime Act and how members of the public can help to ensure that crime does not pay by providing information on people in their neighbourhood who have no visible means of income but who lead an expensive lifestyle.
The process which exists under POCA legislation allows courts to order the confiscation of criminal assets and forces convicted criminals to surrender money made from crimes or face going back to prison.
Detective Inspector, David Blood of the Economic Crime Unit said: "The aim of the week is to drive home the message to criminals that crime really doesn’t pay.
"During the week, officers will be taking positive action against convicted criminals who have outstanding confiscation orders against them. It will include the auctioning of more than a hundred items of criminals’ property on eBay which the public will be able to purchase.
"We use eBay for this purpose to maximise the amount of money that is recouped from these assets, which is then put back into local community policing. Items available will include a Rolex worth £5000, 50 inch flat screen TV and lots more. The auction starts at 8pm on Monday 1st July. (http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/cheshirepolice/ )
"We will also be speaking to members of the local community to raise their awareness about the seizure of criminal assets and to encourage them to report any information they may have on criminals in their community who appear to be living beyond their means to Cheshire Police or anonymously to Crimestoppers ."
Cheshire Police will be working alongside other agencies in a bid to recoup outstanding assets during the week − namely Trading Standards, the Illegal Money Lending Team and Serious Fraud Office.
You can read more about POCA week at www.cheshire.police.uk. For any members of the public who want to report known criminality in their neighbourhood, they should contact Cheshire Police on 101 or alternatively they can call Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.