Police boss steps up crime cash campaign

19th February 2013. Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson.

19th February 2013. Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson.

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Police boss Mark Burns-Williamson is calling on policing minister Damien Green to allow forces to keep money they seize from criminals through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Mr Burns-Williamson, police and crime commissioner for West Yorkshire Police, who has spearheaded the campaign, made the plea at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ conference in London.

He said the minister agreed to consider the proposal, adding: “This is a significant step forward in my campaign to bring all the money seized from criminals back into our communities.

“Currently half of money recovered goes back to government, and I have brought this to the attention of Mr Green in person.

“He agreed to consider returning all Proceeds of Crime to our communities, and possibly looking at closing the loopholes in legislation to make sure we can do more to hit criminals where it hurts, and invest more in tackling crime and its causes.”

Mr Burns-Williamson had previously written to chancellor George Osborne, but said he was pleased his proposal had been acknowledged in a public forum.

He added: “Over the 12 months since being elected, this campaign has received widespread support and I would continue to encourage people to sign my online petition.

“This money could be used to by the police and local partners to achieve so much more.

“I will be continuing to highlight this issue at every opportunity until the right changes have been made.

“Everyone I have spoken to agrees with the principle of all the money generated through the Proceeds of Crime legislation being returned to the areas where communities have suffered from the criminal activity in the first place.”

Visit www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk to sign the online petition.