The Commissioner visited the Economic Crime Unit and saw how investment into its expansion he has provided is delivering results.
This follows new data revealing that £825k has been seized from criminals over a six month period alone, alongside officers investigating £2.6m in assets such as cash, bank accounts, jewellery, rings, gift cards, and watches.
Through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), Lancashire Constabulary have powers to confiscate money or assets gained by criminals during the course of their criminal activity.
Since becoming Commissioner, Andrew set out an aggressive approach to asset seizures, and through his Fighting Crime Plan pledged to increase the amount of money and assets taken from criminals so that crime doesn’t pay in Lancashire, particularly with Op Warrior, the joint campaign with Lancashire Constabulary disrupting and dismantling organised crime.
He continues to work with the Chief Constable to increase the number of personal asset seizures including cash, vehicles, firearms, drugs and look at ways to reinvest cash back into the community.
His Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund alone has so far provided around £870k to community schemes and innovative projects that deter crime, make communities safer and help address the root causes of offending.
Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said:
“I’m committed to making sure crime doesn’t pay here in Lancashire and alongside removing criminals from our streets, seizing their ill-gotten gains is another way we send this message loud and clear.
“These fantastic results show that, wherever possible, we will hit offenders where it often hurts the most, in their wallets. I visited the team of financial investigators focused on stripping these assets from criminals and saw the hard work and dedication that goes into making these successes a reality. Even without a prosecution, civil powers can be used to seize assets gained through suspected criminal enterprise.
“Whilst my Fighting Crime Plan rightly focuses on enforcement and getting tough on offenders, utilising cash seized from criminals and investing this into the county through my Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund means we can address some of the root causes of crime and look at innovative ways to deal with local concerns and prevent crime.
“I will continue to work closely with the Constabulary to make sure that crime doesn’t pay, taking money from offenders and reinvesting this into projects that make Lancashire safer. ”