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Poetic justice reigns as criminals' assets fund safer communities

Ill-gotten gains arising from criminal acts in Derbyshire will be used to boost crime reduction activities across the county’s communities, Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles promised on Monday (15 December).

The Commissioner agreed at his Strategic Governance Board (SGB) meeting to allocate around half of the extra £131,684 to the Chief Constable for Divisional projects, and the other half for community projects aimed at crime prevention or community benefit.

“Our police work hard to make sure that criminals do not profit from their crimes and their dubious activities,” Mr Charles commented. “Making sure that this money is spent on tackling crime is what I and many victims would call poetic justice.”

The money was achieved by Derbyshire Police through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). “This involves seizing criminals’ illegal profits and selling their assets such as cars – a consequence spelling out the powerful message that crime doesn’t pay,” the Commissioner pointed out.

Last year Derbyshire Police achieved £331, 864 in POCA income, £200,000 of which was built into the base budget to support core policing.  Due to the Constabulary’s excellent results there is an additional resource that the Commissioner can distribute.

SGB members were told that the £65,000 allocated to the Chief Constable would be divided between B, C and D Divisions. It is not yet finally decided how the money will be spent but so far B Division plans to use the money on projects identified by safer neighbourhood teams and managers. Around 20 community groups received funding for a range of activities last year and the intention is to continue with that plan this year.

C Division is looking at using its share to tackle the supply of drugs and its impact on both football-related violence and violent crime within town centres at night. The plan at D Division is to fund some crime prevention activities such as marking kits and also buy equipment related to POCA operations.

The balance of £66,864 is earmarked for one or more community capital projects, with funding awarded by the Commissioner following a competed bids process. This, he said, will promote the benefits to communities that can be derived from POCA monies, and leave a lasting legacy.

To find out more about POCA go to: http://www.derbyshire.police.uk/About-us/Our-Commitment/Proceeds-of-Crime-Act-POCA.aspx



Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

Posted on Thursday 18th December 2014
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