POLICE have stripped £12m from criminals in West Yorkshire.
In Kirklees alone, £1.51m was seized.
And the force says this is all down to the hard work of dedicated proceeds of crime teams.
The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) was introduced in 2003 to give police powers to confiscate assets and cash from people who have benefited from illegal activities.
Up to the end of February, the total amount confiscated or forfeited through court orders stood at £12,043,798.18. But in addition, police have frozen assets in excess of £37m pending the outcome of investigations.
The special POCA teams have ensured that local criminals pay the price for their crimes.
In Kirklees there have been 61 court orders totalling £1.51m.
Following one cash seizure worth more than £1.1m, Kirklees POCA team secured a Forfeiture Order. Bundles of cash totalling £1,119,640 seized from properties were found to be contaminated with heroin.
Police think the drugs supply network in West Yorkshire will have been seriously disrupted following forfeiture of this cash.
Deputy Chief Constable David Crompton said: “Our POCA teams are extremely successful and the fact that we have hit over £12m in seizures and forfeitures shows just how committed these teams are.
“While crime often destroys the lives of innocent people, whether through theft, fraud or money laundering, our teams of officers and financial investigators can strip those criminals of their luxurious lifestyles which are often funded through criminal enterprises.
“From the money that we seize or confiscate from individuals, a large proportion of that goes back into neighbourhoods for the greater good.
“Community and voluntary groups benefit from POCA seizures every year and receive funding from the force for projects to tackle local priorities for residents such as anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse or burglary.
“Every day we are getting significant confiscation orders through the courts and seizing cash as a result of thorough investigations the so the figures are on the increase and will continue to rise.
“The West Yorkshire force is one of the top performers when it comes to Proceeds of Crime Act investigations and I am delighted with the impressive results we have seen to date.”
There are six POCA teams across the force area as well as other specialist units.