West Mercia Police seizes £1.4 million from criminals as fraud recoveries surge
New figures from the Home Office show a sharp rise in the amount of money and assets recovered from criminals in the year to March.
Around £1.4 million was seized by West Mercia Police last year in the year to March – a significant rise from £908,000 in 2021 to 2022.
It is unclear whether this is from a larger volume of fraud cases, or from the crime being dealt with more effectively.
But Detective Inspector Dan Fenn, of the Economic Crime Unit (ECU) at West Mercia Police says the figures are a reflection of the hard work and dedication of ECU staff.
He said: “As a force we’ve been working incredibly hard to recover money obtained through fraud, so we’re pleased that the figures reflect our hard work and show a significant increase when compared to 2021-2022.
“These results have been achieved through the hard work of members of the ECU team, with colleagues across West Mercia police, who continue to work tirelessly to remove criminal funds and protect the public from fraud.
“As part of the force commitment to tackling fraud, investment has been made this year in increasing resources in the ECU.
“Where fraud has taken place we don’t hesitate to take action using the powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
"This can include confiscation orders, restraint orders, account freezing orders, listed asset orders and compensation orders. We also utilise forfeitures under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
“Proceeds which are receive back are returned to the victim or are used to tackle future crime.”
In May, the Government launched a three-year fraud strategy, which included measures to prevent financial cold calling, and gives enforcement agencies greater powers to tackle cryptocurrency scams.
Local police forces received nearly £49 million in the last financial year through the scheme, £222,000 of which went to West Mercia Police.
If you’ve been a victim of fraud you can report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.