Criminals’ cash seized

OFFENDERS have been forced to hand over millions of pounds made from crime.

Nearly £6 million was seized by West Yorkshire Police using the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) last year including £500,000 seized from criminals in Calderdale.

Detective Sergeant Bill Hargreaves, who leads Calderdale’s POCA team said: “This is a significant contribution and we will continue to ensure criminals in Calderdale don’t get away with living off the proceeds of their crimes.”

Recent successes for the POCA team include securing a confiscation order for £14,000 against armed robber Dell Miller.

The 37-year-old of Churn Drive, Buttershaw, Bradford, was given an indeterminate prison sentence in 2009 for a string of violent thefts across Calderdale which the judge described as “cruelly planned and ruthless”. An investigation into his finances was launched following his conviction by the POCA team and led to the confiscation order being made in October last year.

Detective Chief Inspector Fran Naughton, from the force’s economic crime unit, said: “Criminals have no regard for how hard people have to work to keep their families afloat.

“We are committed to investigating negative role models in your communities and not only convicting them of their crimes but stripping them of their assets.

“Criminals will not be allowed to live off the proceeds of crime by living in large houses and driving around in expensive cars at the price of hard working members of the public.

“This is not just about the amount of money we take off criminals but making sure we target those who are causing misery for others in their neighbourhood.”