Cash from crime paid to victims

By <b>Connie Osborne Friday 13 June 2014 Updated: 13/06 09:22

MORE than £1 million has been clawed back from criminals in Redditch in the past year.

Figures from West Mercia and Warwickshire Police reveal crooks across the area have been forced to pay £2.3 million in total, while victims have received half of that figure.

It follows successful confiscation and forfeiture orders made by the courts after investigations by the police.

They included Benjamin Sookia who was jailed for five years for stealing from the Halifax bank where he worked and was ordered to pay £891,000 within six months or serve a further four years in prison.

Andrew Minshull, of Hatfield Close in Matchborough, was forced to hand over £121,262 which was distributed to almost 500 victims of a clamping con run by his firm Midland Parking Contracts. He was also jailed for 32 months.

Det Insp Mark Glazzard, head of the joint economic crime unit, said the money returned was from a broad spectrum of crimes including fraud, theft and drug trafficking.

“Overall, this is a significant result and demonstrates our commitment to ensuring criminals do not leave the judicial system with any benefit from their criminality,” he said.

“When someone has been convicted, we make an application to the courts to strip them of any benefit gained from their criminal conduct, even if it means they have to sell assets, including major items such as their car and home.

“They then have a specified period to comply with the order and pay back the money. Failure to do so automatically results in a prescribed and often lengthy further period in prison. And even then, the debt is not wiped off by the default prison sentence – it remains in place until the person has the means to pay.

“Most importantly, we are able to compensate some victims through the confiscation process. Victims are central to what we achieve so it is satisfying that our efforts go some way to relieve their distress.”

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