Police plan to grab more cash from criminals after admitting the force could do better

Police are expecting to “increase significantly” the amount of cash they seize from criminals in South Yorkshire in future, following a three month period where investigators took £19,000 from suspected offenders.

Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 4:18 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 4:22 pm
Dr Alan Billings

Details of the seizures were presented to the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, at a public accountability board meeting, where he holds the force to account.

He questioned the level of cash seizures, which were made against a series of other successes including the seizure of four guns, the recovery of vehicles used by criminals and more than one “disruption” to the work of criminal gangs every day during the period.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts told him: “If there is one area to improve, it is the amount of cash we seize.

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“My expectation is that it will increase significantly in the next year.

“The force capability is not what it should be. I think there is huge scope to increase that and do something different about how we use that money, how the public see that.”

Under UK regulations, police are allowed to keep some of the assets recovered from criminals to help fund their work in that field.

South Yorkshire Police have recently employed new specialist investigators to help track down criminal assets and as they become more embedded into the role, the force’s performance is expected to improve.

Dr Billings said: “I think people want to see that crime doesn’t pay, except that it pays us, if we are able to seize those assets.”

The system of denying criminals the proceeds of their endeavours is regarded as effect in terms of both demonstrating that offenders cannot continue to live lavish lifestyles after being caught, but also because it becomes much harder for them to return to serious crime without the cash to bankroll their activities.

The system of denying criminals the proceeds of their endeavours is regarded as effect in terms of both demonstrating that offenders cannot continue to live lavish lifestyles after being caught, but also because it becomes much harder for them to return to serious crime without the cash to bankroll their activities.

Meanwhile, the force is also working more closely on investigations into convicted criminals who continue their offending from behind bars.

Mr Roberts said: "Organised criminals don't stop being organised criminals when they are in prison.

If we can get them an additional sentence before they come out, it is better then allowing them to come out and commit offences in the community."