CRIMINALS living the high life have been warned to expect to lose their homes, cars, businesses and valuables by South Yorkshire Police’s new chief constable.
David Crompton, who was appointed this week, aimed his threat at offenders profiting from crime.
Mr Crompton said he wants to strip more crooks of their assets - and invest the cash in fighting crime across the county as the force faces Government funding cuts of more than £40 million over the next three years.
He said: “South Yorkshire Police have already done some good work around the use of the Proceeds of Crime Act but I would like to take it further.
“I see it as a good way of keeping criminals on the back foot because one of the things they fear more than anything is us getting their money and possessions taken off them.
“Times are hard for everybody so why should criminals profit from their criminality when everyone else is having it tough?
“Some of the money we recover can be ploughed into local communities and back into the force and I don’t do it for that, but I’d prefer us to have it than the criminals.
“My message is we will take your possessions if you are profiting from, crime - we will come after you.”
Mr Crompton, who is still West Yorkshire’s Deputy Chief Constable until April, said one of his main roles will be to manage the reduced funding available over the next few years and keep crime rates down.
He said he wants the force to be ‘as efficient as it can be’ and will look to make savings which can be invested into frontline services.
The new police chief said the force has more buildings than it needs for the staff available so cash could be generated by selling them.
Mr Crompton also plans to look at how South Yorkshire Police can share more services with other neighbouring forces and said some vehicles could be got rid of to save money.
He said he will also look at how much is paid to officers in overtime.
“Every penny of savings can be put into frontline resources to try to maintain the number of police officers and community officers to give us the best chance we can possibly have of keeping on top of crime,” he added.
Mr Crompton said he would like to see the force’s freeze on recruitment lifted ‘in the near future’.
“I would like to get back to recruiting in the near future if we can impossibly manage it,” he said.
“I am keen to maintain the frontline numbers we have got and bring new blood into the force, which is important.”
He said he plans to spend time patrolling the streets when he takes up his new role to hind out how his officers work and what issues matter to local people.