More than Â£1m of cash seized from criminals across Greater Manchester over a three month period is to be invested in the Force and community projects.
Current legislation means cash recovered from criminals, either through confiscation or forfeiture orders, under the Asset Recovery Incentive Scheme (ARIS), is returned to the force where it was seized.
Only City of London Police secured higher figures than GMP between the beginning of January 2014 and the end of March 2014.
In that period:
- GMPâ€™s Cash Seizure Team obtained 163 forfeiture orders totalling Â£3,761,215.78. Â£1,748,552.63 was released to the Home Office, of which Â£874,276.32 is to be received by GMP.
- Â£751,878.68 of money seized under confiscation orders was released to the Home Office, of which Â£160,240.79 is to be received by GMP, totalling Â£1,034,517.10 for the quarter.
The figures do not reflect the amount seized in that period, but the amount remitted to the Home Office following successful hearings.
In the whole 12 month period (April 2013 â€“ March 2014), following funds remitted to the Home Office, Â Â£2,223,000 was returned in relation to cash forfeitures and Â£492,000 following confiscation orders, totalling Â£2,715,000.
Confiscation orders are made once a person is convicted of an offence and seeks to obtain from them the amount they have profited from their crime. Forfeiture orders require a lower burden of proof and cash and assets can be recovered through civil hearings from people believed to be involved in and who have benefited from criminality, but who have not been convicted of an offence.
GMP invests the money received from the ARIS to pay for the 11 financial investigators that are based on each of the Forceâ€™s divisions and towards the cost of staffing the Economic Crime Unit. A percentage is also placed into a fund which divisions can make applications for to go towards community projects.
In 2013/14 the ARIS funding paid for the salaries of 31 officers and staff and funding has been provided for a major youth engagement programme and Â£200k has been provided for local community initiatives including neighbourhood watch schemes, youth clubs, national charities supporting youth initiatives, school events, burglary prevention materials, community workshops for crime prevention, equipment to community centres and other community projects.
Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Davies, said â€œThis legislation is absolutely vital in ensuring justice is served right across the board.
â€œNot only are criminals made to pay for their crimes in a court of law, they are made to pay financially, which in many cases is a much harder pill for them to swallow.
â€œCertain individuals and organised crime gangs commit offences with the sole intention of making money, so when we are able to strip away their assets we are able to demonstrate clearly that crime does not pay.
â€œIt also means that our financial investigators, who do such complex and critical work, are effectively self-funded as a result of the money we receive under the scheme.
â€œMoreover a percentage is set aside to invest in community projects.
â€œThe effect of crime is like a ripple on a pond; it stems beyond the person directly involved and can have an impact on the wider community, so it is pleasing that money is available to them that gives them something back.â€