Police seize £3m from district criminals under Proceeds of Crime Act (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Cash ploughed back into communities
Police in Bradford have seized more than £3 million from the district’s criminals in 18 months.
The figure was revealed at the end of Proceeds of Crime Act Week during which police in West Yorkshire recovered tens of thousands of pounds of criminal assets. Officers were in Centenary Square, Bradford, yesterday with a confiscated Audi car to improve public awareness of POCA.
Much of the money raised from villains’ ill-gotten gains is ploughed back into local policing and neighbourhood projects.
West Yorkshire Police yesterday revealed that the two Bradford police divisions have recovered a combined total of £1,831,876 in ill-gotten gains between April 2011 and April 2012, with a further £1.3 million confiscated since.
The latter figure included about £750,000 which Bradford drugs gang lieutenant Zulfiqar Shah was ordered to pay back by a judge last week.
Yesterday, two Bradford groups received large cheques from officers in Centenary Square.
Detective Sergeant Ash Toussaint, of the Bradford South POCA Team, said the cash will have a positive impact.
He said: “We have been able to present Bradford People First with £2,085 which will go towards learning disability hate-crime training. This will be provided to colleges, schools, police and those with learning disabilities.
“A cheque for £525 was also handed to Barry Clarke, who was representing St Wilfrid’s Parish Church in Lidget Green, to revitalise the Remembrance Garden which had previously encouraged crime and anti-social behaviour.
“The money is also to be put towards diversionary activities for young people in the local area.”
Det Sgt Dave Marston, of the Airedale and North Bradford Proceeds of Crime Team, said: “In the financial year leading up to April 2012 we had some particularly successful confiscations from criminals in the Airedale and North Bradford Division which has seen us seize well over a million pounds under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“We have given £3,000 of computer equipment to the Rockwell Centre in Eccleshill which will go towards training courses. POCA money has also benefited Shipley primary school pupils, with £2,500 going towards a series of citizenship courses.
“Elsewhere, cash was provided to Hand in Hand which tackles child exploitation, the Bingley Youth Café, local football projects, drama sessions and many more.”