CRIMINALS have been hit in the pocket to the tune of more than £1.4 million by Staffordshire Police during 2012.
The force’s financial investigators have obtained confiscation orders totalling £1,437,217 between April and October 2012 - 50 per cent more than in the same period last year - and forfeited £164,712 in cash.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Clews, head of the crime support unit, said: “We believe there is a strong link between hitting offenders in the pocket and cutting organised crime through to antisocial behaviour.
“As a force, we’re taking positive action to engage young people in our communities and help them turn their lives around through several initiatives– and criminals are helping to pay for this.
“We will continue to strip offenders of their ill gained assets and urge anyone with information about people making an unfair living from crime to get in touch.”
Confiscation orders, issued at court, make offenders pay the cash equivalent of their benefit from crime – meaning they have to sell off possessions including homes, cars and other luxury items, such as jewellery or plasma television, acquired through a criminal lifestyle.
The seizure of cash and assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act also allows the funding of community based initiatives.
Funding of £5,780 was secured funding to launch a recycle scheme after they identified a number of unclaimed bicycles at Burton Police Station.
Supported by Burton Albion Community Trust and Staffordshire County Council, the scheme began in November 2012 and will run until February 2013.
Year Six pupils are signed up to a 10 week after school scheme so that with support and guidance they can restore the bikes, learn about safety and take their cycling proficiency test - with the incentive that they can keep the bike.
More details are available by visiting www.staffordshire.police.uk/payback