Criminals have been told to pay back more than £2.5 million last year by West Midlands Police. 

The financial investigation team has successfully pursued the “dirty money” and worked hard to make sure criminals cannot benefit from their ill-gotten gains in the future. 

Across 2023, the police carried out extensive enquiries to obtain 140 confiscation or forfeiture orders through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).  

These orders aim to show how crooks have benefitted from their crimes including through cash and investments such as property. 

If they refuse to pay up, they receive extended prison sentences with officers still being able to recover the debt in the future. 

Detective Inspector Lauren Ades, from the Economic Crime Unit (ECU), said: “Our department work tirelessly to ensure that offenders are not able to benefit financially from their criminal activity. 

"We work alongside our colleagues dealing with the criminal prosecutions to secure as much evidence as possible to recover as much ‘dirty money’ as possible. 

"The money recovered from these investigations is reinvested in government, CPS and the police to continue providing a service to the public and to invest in community projects." 

These investments include compensating victims and helping the community under the Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC) Active Citizen’s Fund. 

West Midlands PCC, Simon Foster, said: “It is important that crime does not pay. That is why I welcome the work of the economic crime unit, who put that principle into practice. 
“There is no better way to invest proceeds of crime, than back into the criminal justice system and the communities that have been victims of crime.

“In particular, my Helping Communities Fund supports community projects that contribute to crime prevention and reduction and community safety across the West Midlands.”