New powers help police seize £200k of Suffolk criminals’ ill-gotten gains

Police have seized criminals' cash (stock image) Picture: NORFOLK AND SUFFOLK POLICE DOG UNIT

Police have seized criminals' cash (stock image) Picture: NORFOLK AND SUFFOLK POLICE DOG UNIT - Credit: Archant

Suffolk criminals have been deprived of more than £200,000 of their ill-gotten cash since March alone, police have revealed.

The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), which tackles serious and organised crime, has been using new legislation to seize criminals’ cash to hinder their ability to carry out further illegal operations.

The new Proceeds of Crime Act allows forces to freeze and forfeiture money held in UK bank accounts, which is believed to be linked to criminal activity.

Since March 2018, the sum of cash forfeited in Suffolk using these powers amounts to more than £200,000.

A recent Account Forfeiture Order obtained more than £81,000, and was the third such order secured, following an investigation by Suffolk Police.

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The forfeited money will be shared between the Home Office and ERSOU’s constituent forces.

Det Insp Rob Turner, from ERSOU’s economic crime directorate, said: “The new legislation presents significant opportunities for the police to identify, freeze and ultimately seize money which appears to be linked to criminal conduct.

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“This ensures that those funds can’t be used in future unlawful activity and deprives the criminals of their ill-gotten gains.

“We will continue to seek opportunities to disrupt those who engage in such organised crime, reinforcing the message that crime does not pay.”

ERSOU operates in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, Norfolk and Suffolk.

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