Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Crime Pays for Those Who Work for Community; CRIMINALS' ILL-GOTTEN GAINS DISTRIBUTED TO GOOD CAUSES

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Crime Pays for Those Who Work for Community; CRIMINALS' ILL-GOTTEN GAINS DISTRIBUTED TO GOOD CAUSES

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY

THEY used the profits of their crimes to fund flash cars, fancy homes and a lavish lifestyle.

But now it's payback time as more than 20 community projects are chosen to benefit from cash seized from crooks.

Young sports teams, advice services and local safety groups are now set to benefit from cash and assets seized from criminals.

Northumbria Police and the Criminal Justice Board asked the public to nominate groups to receive a share of the pounds 95,000 police have confiscated from criminals.

And after receiving more than 70 suggestions, 24 projects have now been chosen to benefit from the Government's Community Cashback scheme Each successful cause will receive cash from the pot, which is available as a direct result of the work of Northumbria Police's financial investigators who use the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize suspected criminal property.

This can include cash, or assets such as property or cars, where the owners can not prove they have not been purchased through ill-gotten gains.

And Det Sgt Andy Gimza, of Northumbria Police's Economic Crime Unit, said he was delighted to see how stripping these criminals of their badges of wealth can not only punish them, but do some good for the community. "The Economic Crime Unit of Northumbria Police would like to congratulate the successful projects and thank all of those who submitted bids," he said.

"To witness cash being pumped back into our communities for such worthwhile projects is the reason why Northumbria Police conducts financial investigations.

"The money being placed directly back into our communities by Community Cashback, has come from confiscating the houses, cars and lifestyles of the criminals by the Financial Investigators in Northumbria Police.

"These badges of wealth, which the dysfunctional role models within our communities have flaunted, have been removed from them. The convictions, confiscation and forfeitures obtained by the financial investigators disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups.

"The partnerships working within the Criminal Justice System, has made this possible. …

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