Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA)

Making sure crime doesn't pay

Money is at the heart of all organised crime. The lifestyle and status it brings is the main motivation for most criminals and just as legitimate businesses need funding to stay afloat, so does organised crime. Without cashflow, deals can’t be made and people can’t be paid. For both these reasons, many organised criminals fear attacks on their finances and lifestyle more than prison.

About the Proceeds of Crime Act

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is a piece of legislation created to tackle organised crime, giving officers the power to seize cash and recover assets such as cars and houses bought by criminals through the proceeds of their crimes.

POCA strikes directly at the main motive for crime, deterring offenders, disrupting organised crime and showing the public that crime doesn’t pay.

The money recovered and made through the sale of the criminal’s assets can then be put back into community projects and helps to fund further investigations.

How can the police part criminals from their money?

Cheshire Police use the Proceeds of Crime Act to make it more difficult for criminals to get their hands on their money and launder the profits of their crimes. We do this through:

The benefits of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA)

  • It removes criminal assets from our county that could be used to generate more crime
  • Crime is likely to fall as criminals stripped of their assets risk future confiscations if they return to their old ways
  • It stifles criminal activity and sends a clear message to everyone including criminals that crime does not pay
  • It reduces the iconic status of criminals and crime

Financial investigation using the Proceeds of Crime Act allows the police and law enforcement agencies to combat a very wide range of criminality, including:

  • Drug trafficking
  • Money laundering
  • Terrorism
  • People trafficking
  • Arms trafficking
  • Counterfeiting
  • Blackmail
  • Armed robbery
  • Fraud.

Help tackle organised crime in your area

Most people work hard to get where they are in life, while others prey on vulnerable people bringing misery to communities and profiting from fear.

These are people that live in your neighbourhood, maybe even next door to you. They’re affecting the community, ruining people’s lives and causing anxiety through their actions.

Communities are being asked to help tackle organised crime by letting the police know about those people in the community who live an extravagant life style with no obvious means of funding it.

With help from Cheshire residents, criminals can not only be prosecuted for the crimes they commit, but the money they make or the things they buy using profits from illegal activities can also be confiscated by the courts.

Report it

There’s always someone you can speak to. You can contact Cheshire Police on 101 or alternatively, if you do not want to talk to us direct, ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where you can give your information anonymously.