Cops seize proceeds of crime

POLICE in Comet country have seized more than a quarter of a million pounds in cash and property since the introduction of the Proceeds of Crime Act last year. The money-laundering team for the eastern area, which is based at Stevenage Police Station, has

POLICE in Comet country have seized more than a quarter of a million pounds in cash and property since the introduction of the Proceeds of Crime Act last year.

The money-laundering team for the eastern area, which is based at Stevenage Police Station, has seized £84,071 since April 1 last year and confiscated £245,354 in assets.

Across the county, police have clawed back £631,164 obtained through criminal activity and confiscated £463,558 in property.

Det Sgt Charles Moore, who leads the eastern area money laundering unit, said: "The Proceeds of Crime Act has proven to be a key piece of legislation and enabled us to work with other agencies to make significant asset recoveries.

"This sends a clear message to both offenders and the law-abiding public that no one should be allowed to enjoy a lavish lifestyle gained from criminality.

"Not only have these efforts left criminals and suspects feeling out of pocket but there has also been significant disruption to criminal networks operating in the county and beyond."

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Last summer, Operation Movement, a force-wide operation, saw the confiscation of a container with dozens of high value vehicles which had been stolen to order from parts of Hertfordshire.

DS Moore added: "Nationally, in the eastern area we are also being used as an example as to how we detect crimes using the POCA legislation. This legislation has enabled us to disrupt a lot of criminal activity. The team here and in other parts of the country continues to work extremely hard to hit criminals where it hurts - in the pocket."

Det Insp Andrew Theakston, who heads the force's economic crime unit at headquarters, said: "The work that is being carried out on the eastern area and across the county in terms of POCA seizures indicates that this legislation is helping us to put a stop to criminal activity.

"Hertfordshire Constabulary is doing exceptionally well as a police force with the amount of confiscations and seizures we have obtained and continue to seize.

"This legislation is helping us to stop criminality in its tracks and through seizing cash and property, our message is clear to would-be criminals: if you are involved in criminality we will find you.

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