PEOPLE who fund their lifestyles through crime are being targeted in a major new police initiative which is launched today.
• Lothian and Borders, Central Scotland and Fife Constabulary police forces are working together on initiative
• Initiative has support from Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service as well as the Scottish Goverment
• People will be able to report those suspected of making money illegally to Crimestoppers via Facebook as well as phone and website
Lothian and Borders Police, Central Scotland Police and Fife Constabulary are working together on the “Made From Crime?” initiative which will see officers seize assets purchased from criminal activity
using the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Police are asking anyone with suspicions about those who may have made money illegally to contact Crimestoppers anonymously by phone, via the website or Facebook pages.
This campaign follows the first phase of the campaign in 2011 which resulted in 44 people being arrested and £6.4 million of cash and assets identified for seizure.
The initiative is supported by the Scottish Government and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, who will oversee the crime portfolio for the forthcoming Police Service of Scotland, said: “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-effects 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.
“Criminals don’t care or respect policing boundaries and it’s crucial that where they go, we go. This joined-up working between Fife,Lothian and Borders and Central Constabulary is the first step in stripping away the artificial barriers that force boundaries put up and tackling crime in a leaner, meaner and sharper way.”
From April 1, these three police forces will merge to form the East Command of the Police Service of Scotland.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “With Lothian and Borders, Central and Fife joining forces to build on the progress made 12months ago, the net is closing in on those responsible for crimes that cause serious harm to individuals and communities. With the public’s help, more of those profiting from crime should and will be firmly brought to justice.”
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service director of operations 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, hard-working 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.”
Bill Matthews, chairman of Crimestoppers, said: “Crimestoppers are delighted to be playing a key role in Made from Crime?. As the charity celebrates its 25th anniversary, we are proud of our unblemished record in support of those who wish to report crime anonymously.”