Lothian and Borders Police are asking the public to report people who make money illegally through crime, in a campaign launched this week called ‘Made From Crime?’.
The initiative targets criminals across the East of Scotland who fund their lifestyles through crime, and deploys the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA): specific legislation which allows officers to seize assets purchased through criminal activity.
The campaign asks communities throughout the East of Scotland to report their suspicions via Crimestoppers about those making money illegally through crimes.
A police spokesperson elaborated: “As well as reporting via telephone, people can also securely report online via the secure Crimestoppers website or through specific facebook advertising that is geo-targeted to communities throughout the area.”
During last year’s ‘Made from Crime?’ campaign, 44 people were arrested and charged in connection with POCA offences, and more than £6.4million of cash and assets were earmarked for seizure from criminals.
Deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone said: “The launch of this campaign sends out a strong message that the police in Scotland will not tolerate criminals profiting from crime.
“We know there are people living beyond their means on the proceeds of crime, be it through the purchase of flash cars, designer clothes or expensive jewellery, and that communities are suffering from the side affects of drug dealing, violence and other associated crimes.
“I would assure people who are trapped by those threatening them with violence or retribution, either associates or partners, that we will help them and tackle the violence and criminality they face.
“We will act on information and bring offenders to justice.”
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill added: “There should be no hiding place in our neighbourhoods for those who cash in on crime. With the public’s help, more of those profiting from crime should and will be firmly brought to justice.”
Director of operations for Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, David Harvie, said: “We know that organised criminals are ever more resourceful and we need to be one step ahead of them. To do that, we need to know what is happening on the ground. Law enforcement and prosecutors can’t do that alone. Our biggest allies in this are the decent, hardworking people who see first hand the devastation that organised crime brings to communities and the profits made by those criminals from the misery of others.”
Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.