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£132k of seized cash to be used in crackdown on crime
MORE than £132,000 of cash seized from rogue traders is to be used to help run council crackdowns on crime in York.
The money is the share of the proceeds of crime City of York Council is allowed to keep under Home Office rules after the authority’s officers confiscated £565,000 from criminals in less than four years.
All the funds related to counterfeit goods being sold in the city.
The Government’s Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme ensures the organisation responsible for carrying out the investigation which led to the money being seized can retain a portion to use for its own work.
Coun Sandy Fraser, the council’s cabinet member for crime and community safety, has now approved the use of the authority’s £132,903 share for strengthening its ability to recover proceeds of crime.
This includes training an extra officer to become a financial investigator, buying specialist software to scan and analyse bank statements and recruiting additional staff to go through financial records.
It will also go towards paying for a solicitor to take on prosecutions on behalf of the council so its own officials can be freed up to tackle investigative duties, as well as other training measures and funding local anti-crime initiatives in the city.
“It is important that the council uses its full powers to effectively receive the proceeds of crime of convicted offenders and use the money to fight crime and criminals preying on our communities,” said Coun Fraser.
Allocating the money to specific crime reduction schemes will be managed by the board of the Safer York Partnership and will be focused on projects which will have the best chance of bringing down crime rates in the city.
Since May 2008, the council’s work has seen £565,148.91 confiscated from criminals and the authority has also been awarded £82,806.19 in costs from subsequent court cases.
The decision also means future cash seizures will be used for the same purposes as the money which has already been recovered.