No reprieve for crooks as police seize crime proceeds

Criminals have received no Covid reprieve after West Midlands Police recovered over £1.7 million of ill-gotten gains during 2020.

The force’s economic crime unit have continued to ensure crooks don’t profit from ’dirty money’ during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The lockdown and restrictions have meant fewer court cases being finalised but it hasn’t deterred investigators from pursuing convicted criminals who’ve benefitted financially from their illegal activities. Officers have secured around 120 orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act this year which has led to money being clawed back.

This included a 36-year-old Wolverhampton drug dealer who was ordered to pay back almost £75,000. The recovered money can be used to compensate victims of crime, or invested into helping communities and making them safer. Jenny Birch, head of the economic crime unit, said:

"The lockdown and restrictions have impacted on everyone and everything this year. But there’s been no let up in our pursuit of convicted criminals who we’ve benefitted financially from their crimes.

"We’ve still been able to claw back a substantial amount of money from the likes of drug dealers and fraudsters.

"Our investigations around proving cash or property are linked to crime can be extremely detailed and complex. But we have a diligent team and it’s always worthwhile to take illegal gains from criminals and put it to good use within communities."

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Waheed Saleem has urged people to apply for funding from the PCC’s Community Initiatives Fund, that was launched to support community groups who are helping the vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Proceeds of Crime Act funds the projects. The Deputy PCC added:

“The Proceeds of Crime Act ensures that the money the police seize from criminals is put to good use keeping our communities safer.

"Dirty money seized by the police is put to good use through our Community Initiatives Fund.

“This year we’ve provided funding for a large number of organisations undertaking all sorts of work, from sports activity to groups combating loneliness.

“Our Community Initiatives Fund is still open for local groups to bid for. You can find more information at"


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