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£554k seized from criminals in North Yorkshire
POLICE seized more than half-a-million in cash and goods from criminals operating in the county last year.
Officers have the powers to apply to the courts to confiscate criminal assets such as houses, cash, jewellery and cars which have been obtained through criminal activities.
Last year, police seized goods and cash with a total value of £544,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
While this is passed on to the Home Office, North Yorkshire Police received a grant in return totalling £253,000.
This cash has been used to fund the force’s ongoing Why Should They? campaign, which provides cash to local groups and charities and encourages people to report known criminals who have lifestyles funded through theft, drug dealing, shoplifting, fraud and money laundering.
The cash also contributes to the costs of the force’s financial investigation unit which investigate criminals’ ill-gotten gains. The Proceeds of Crime Act has been ploughing money into the fund since 2006.
Last year, officers with the force’s financial investigation unit scored a number of victories, including making cowboy builder Darryl Glynn hand over assets worth £140,000 after he conned customers out of cash in York and Selby .
Glynn, 46, started work on houses then refused to complete the job unless he was paid more money. Between April 2006 and January 2008, seven customers paid the father-of-three a total of almost £54,990 for contracted work on their homes.
Once the jobs had been started and the properties were in a state of disrepair, he then tried to extort a further £23,750 out of them, becoming aggressive and abusive if they refused to pay.
North Yorkshire Police and the Local Criminal Justice Board launched the Why Should They? campaign in May 2010.
Among the groups to have benefited financially from the campaign over the last year include York-based Joseph Trust Wood and Craft Workshop; Space 109, in Walmgate, York; Riccall Regen Centre, near Selby; Domestic abuse charity Behind Closed Doors; Whitby Musicport; Robin Hood’s Bay Scouts; Scarborough and Ryedale Crucial Crew; Kids Into Cricket at Duncombe Park Juniors’ Cricket Club; Ripon Community Link Walled Garden Scheme; the JustB Bereavement Service and Yorebridge Sports Development Association. People can report anyone they suspect of living off illegal earnings by phoning North Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.