Police target those living off the proceeds of crime

A campaign targeting people living lavish lifestyles on the proceeds of crime and money laundering has begun across Devon and Cornwall. Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, Crimestoppers and the Crown Prosecution Service have joined forces to launch the campa

A campaign targeting people living lavish lifestyles on the proceeds of crime and money laundering has begun across Devon and Cornwall.Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, Crimestoppers and the Crown Prosecution Service have joined forces to launch the campaign called "Too much bling? Give us a ring!" as part of National Tackling Drugs Week.Detective Superintendent Russ Middleton, who is leading the campaign, said: "It's incredibly disheartening for people to see others living affluent lifestyles off the back of crime when they are leading honest lives and working hard; particularly in the current economic climate."Under the Proceeds of Crime Act we, and the Crown Prosecution Service, are determined to tackle those criminals within our communities who blatantly benefit from the misery of others. We have a dedicated team of investigators who are committed to using this powerful legislation to take the profit out of crime."We hope the public will support our efforts to do so by calling Crimestoppers anonymously with information."The police have wide-ranging powers to pursue criminals through the courts and effectively remove their assets gained either directly or indirectly from criminal activity. This means that criminals can not only lose their freedom as a result of their criminal activity, but also the profits and money they have gained as a result of breaking the law.If sufficient evidence can be acquired to confirm that cash or property has been gained through criminal means, the owner must explain where it has come from. This can be a difficult thing to do if their known legitimate income does not equate to them being able to afford an expensive house; a top of the range Mercedes, lavish furnishings and �10,000 cash under the bed.Tracy Easton, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Devon & Cornwall CPS said: "With the evidence that comes from good intelligence, we are able to restrain all of an individual's cash and bank accounts, their home, vehicles, electrical items and jewellery. "In the past, property that has been seized includes homes, high value vehicles such as Porsches and BMWs; plus expensive jewellery."For those criminals who value their possessions far more than their own liberty, this campaign will have an enormous impact on them."Bob Widdecombe, Chairman of Devon & Cornwall Crimestoppers said: "We are very pleased to be able to assist with this campaign and I would like to remind all members of the public that Crimestoppers is completely anonymous and all calls are treated in the strictest of confidence. Your name or details won't be passed on to the police, it's just your information that they will use.


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