Criminals pay back £2.4m in Staffordshire


Criminals were forced to pay back almost £2.5 million by Staffordshire Police in 2010/11.

The force's Economic Crime Unit again beat Home Office targets, obtaining 151 confiscation orders totalling £1.973 million and forfeiting £447,424 in cash from offenders between April 2010 and March 2011.

Confiscation orders, issued at court, make offenders pay the cash equivalent of their benefit from crime meaning they have to sell off homes, cars and other luxury items, such as jewellery, acquired through a criminal lifestyle.

Significant asset recovery cases in 2010/11 included:

 A £98,000 confiscation order against Burton drug dealer Jamil Hussain who was also jailed for 14 years and four months after admitting supplying heroin and crack cocaine

 A £338,000 confiscation order against Stone drug dealer Andrew Pettit who was jailed for six and a half years after admitting conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis

 Confiscation orders of £243,000 against Gnosalls Brian Challiner and £54,000 against Stafford's Andrew Oxlade after the pair were jailed for their role in a multi-million pound fraud

 Forfeitures of £172,000 and £76,000 of cash seized, and subsequently forfeited, from vehicles on the M6 by officers in relation to contraband goods.

Staffordshire Police has taken back over £12 million from criminals in the last four years and launched the Payback campaign last November with Staffordshire Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Crimestoppers. Payback urges residents to provide information about members of their community who may have profited from crime, with the message: 'Give us a ring to get their bling.'

Det Sgt Nick Jones, from the Economic Crime Unit, said: "Staffordshire Police works hard with the CPS and the courts to take the profit out of crime.

"A significant amount of money recovered is used to compensate crime victims. It also helps fund Operation Nemesis - the forces ongoing fight against drug dealers and is ploughed back into community initiatives to fight crime through the Partners Assuring a Safer Staffordshire charity.

"We will continue to strip offenders of their assets and urge anyone with information about people making an unfair living from crime to ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

More details about asset recovery in Staffordshire are available at
Ed Beltrami, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) is sending out a clear message to criminals that crime will not pay in the West Midlands.

"The CPS is working with our partners in the local criminal justice system to identify cases for early restraint and to freeze the assets of defendants while the trial is in progress. This then becomes a major tool for enforcement at the conclusion of the trial where, upon conviction, a confiscation order is made.

"We are determined to use these powers given to us to reduce crime, disrupt criminal enterprises and remove the negative role models from our society."