Cops target crooks' ill-gotten gains

Targeting criminals causing the most harm by hitting them in the pocket was the theme of a conference hosted by Suffolk Criminal Justice Board.

SUFFOLK: Targeting criminals causing the most harm by hitting them in the pocket was the theme of a conference hosted by Suffolk Criminal Justice Board.

The seminar involved 60 members of the criminal justice system and looked at the ways of implementing financial investigation in every-day inquiries.

Its purpose was to raise the profile of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the use of specialist Financial Investigators to solve problems in Suffolk's communities, reduce the risk of harm, and increase public confidence in the county.

One of the other main aims of the conference, which was held at Martlesham police headquarters, was to reinforce that career criminals' assets can be seized. These include cash, houses, cars or other valuable property.

Suffolk's Chief Constable, Simon Ash said: “The focus of our efforts should be targeted at those who cause the most harm within the communities of Suffolk. The public want us to take the ill-gotten gains from criminals who live lifestyles beyond their lawful means. We have been very successful in doing this and then ploughing cash back into community projects through the national Pay Back scheme.''

Among those represented were Suffolk Constabulary, the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Court Service, the National Policing Improvement Agency, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Office for Criminal Justice Reform.

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Temporary Detective Superintendent Steve Mattin said: “We want criminals to feel the full weight of the law, but we also want to put them out of business permanently by taking their profits.

“We are always keen to hear from the public about any person who appears to have wealth and possessions without any apparent legal means of funding this lifestyle, and who they suspect may be involved in criminality.”

What else would you like to see done to penalise criminals? E-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.