Making sure crime doesn't pay
Money is at the heart of all organised crime.
The lifestyle and status it brings is the main motivation for most
criminals. And just as legitimate businesses need funding to stay
afloat, so does organised crime. Without cashflow, deals
can’t be made and people can’t be paid. For both these
reasons, many organised criminals fear attacks on their finances
and lifestyle more than prison.
About the Proceeds of Crime Act
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is a piece of legalisation
created to tackle organised crime, giving officers the power to
seize cash and recover assets
such as cars and houses bought by criminals through the proceeds of
POCA strikes directly at the main motive for crime,
deterring offenders, disrupting organised
crime, and shows the public that crime doesn’t
The money recovered and made through the sale of the criminal’s
assets can then be put back into community
projects and helps to fund further
How can the police part criminals from their money?
Cheshire Police use the Proceeds of Crime Act to make it more
difficult for criminals to get their hands on their money and
launder the profits of their crimes. We do this through:
Confiscation Orders (Crown Court)
A confiscation order can be made by the Crown Court to deprive
criminals of the benefit from their crimes. If it is proven that a
criminal has committed an acquisitive crime (i.e. theft) and they
have benefited from that crime, then an accredited Financial
Investigator can identify the value of any assets the criminal
holds (bank accounts, houses, vehicles). This can then be used to
pay back the amount they are said to have benefited from their
crime, even if the assets are legally held.
If the application for a confiscation order is successful,
criminals have a specified number of days, weeks, months to pay the
full amount or be subject to a prison sentence.
Forfeiture Orders (Magistrates Court)
A forfeiture order can also be made against a person at
Magistrates Court using the Proceeds of Crime Act. This is only
made against cash which is believed to be the proceeds of crime or
intended for use in crime. An order can be made even if someone has
not been charged or convicted of criminal offence.
A forfeiture order immediately deprives the defendant of title,
whereas a confiscation order is only an order to pay a sum of money
and is enforced as if it were a fine. If confiscation is invoked
the court will not usually be able to make a forfeiture order.
Benefits of POCA
- It removes criminal assets from our county that could be used
to generate more crime
- Crime is likely to fall as criminals stripped of their assets
risk future confiscations if they return to their old ways
- Stifles criminal activity and sends a clear message to everyone
including criminals that crime does not pay
- It reduces the iconic status of criminals and crime
Financial investigation using the Proceeds of Crime Act allows
the police and law enforcement agencies to combat a very wide range
of criminality, including:
- Drug trafficking;
- Money laundering;
- People trafficking;
- Arms trafficking;
- Armed robbery;
Help tackle organised crime in your area
Most people work hard to get where they are in life, while
others pray on vulnerable people bringing misery
to communities and profiting from fear.
These are people that live in your neighbourhood, maybe
even next door to you. They’re affecting the community,
ruining people’s lives and causing anxiety through their
Communities are being asked to help tackle organised
crime by letting the police know about those people in the
community who live an extravagant life style with no
obvious means of funding it.
With help from Cheshire residents, criminals can not only be
prosecuted for the crimes they commit, but the money they make or
the things they buy using profits from illegal activities
can also be confiscated by the courts.
There’s always someone you can speak to. You
can contact Cheshire Police on 101 or
alternatively, if you do not want to talk to us direct, ring
crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where you can give
your information anonymously.
- Geraint Jones, Crime Operations
What I can assure you is that we will take every report
seriously, we will feedback to you what we have done. You
will see the action we take in result of the information that you
have given us.