Proceeds of Crime Act Petition (25 June 2013)

 

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has today called on the government to let West Yorkshire Police, and other Forces across the country, keep the money they generate from criminals and use it to help fund local policing and crime prevention.

Launching the campaign, Mark Burns-Williamson has posted a petition on the Downing Street website and has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne MP.

Mark Burns-Williamson wants forces across England and Wales to keep any money they generate from seizing money and assets generated by those involved in criminality. At the present time forces have to return all revenue they obtain under Proceeds of Crime Act legislation to the government. They then receive less than half of this back.

The aim of the petition is to raise over 100,000 signatures which would lead to the subject being discussed in parliament. 

POCA posterbodySpeaking after becoming the first signature on the petition, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "The ill-gotten gains recovered from criminals who profit from causing serious harm to communities across the country should not be seen to belong to the state but as the rightful property of all those victims, witnesses and others affected by criminality.

"All the money and assets seized by police and the Crown Prosecution Service should be invested back into the local areas from which it came and be used directly to help tackle the causes and consequences of crime and target those involved in criminality.

"As Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire I make sure this is how all the money received by the police service here is spent but with all of the money and assets seized, the police and partner organisations, who work locally to tackle crime and support victims in West Yorkshire, could achieve so much more. "

Mark Burns-Williamson said this view was widely supported by local people, he said: "85% of respondents to the 'Listening to You' survey, which was the largest survey of its kind to gauge people's views on policing and crime issues across West Yorkshire, supported the idea that all revenue recovered from criminals should be invested back into local communities to help tackle crime."

"After speaking to other Police and Crime Commissioners across the country, as well as leading figures in the policing service, a decision to allow police forces to reinvest money seized from criminals would be a welcome announcement in the hard economic times we are currently facing where forces are striving to maintain an effective service to the public despite severe cuts being made to their funding.

"I would ask people to support my call for money generated by local police from local criminals to be retained and used to tackle crime in local communities."

People can support the campaign by visiting the dedicated website at: http://action.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/giveusbackallthemoney or tweeting #giveusthemoney.

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