POLICE are calling on the public to help them bust high-spending crooks who are living beyond their means.
Cleveland Police have launched a new high-profile campaign to strip criminals of their ill gotten gains.
And senior police and Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger are calling on residents to help them under the new campaign called Don’t let them Splash the Cash.
Peter McPhillips, Temporary Detective Chief Superintendant, said: “We already work tirelessly to target people we suspect are making a very good living from the proceeds of crime and we do all we can to bring them before the courts.
“We then use the Proceeds of Crime Act of 2002 to seize what assets we can.
“At the end of 2012 Cleveland Police introduced our Financial Intelligence and Investigation Strategy to increase the use of financial intelligence and investigation.
“Every police officer and member of police staff was informed of this, so awareness within the force is very high.
“We are now calling on residents to get on board with us and help us identify people who are clearly living beyond their legitimate means.”
The Economic Crime Unit (ECU) says it already makes good use of the Proceeds of Crime Act to strip criminals of vehicles, jewellery, cash and even houses.
Since last April, the ECU has obtained 23 Cash Forfeiture Orders worth £148,820 and 67 Confiscation Orders valued at £820,977.
Police have also seized around £400,000 in cash, most of which will be targeted under the various court orders.
Mr Coppinger added: “These are difficult economic times for many people and it is simply not right that some people are living beyond their means as a result of crime or fraud.
“If members of the public have their suspicions about someone in their community who has an expensive lifestyle without any apparent means of supporting this, I’d urge them to get in touch and we’ll do the rest.”
Cleveland Police receives a portion of money seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act which is ploughed back into investigating serious and organised crime.
You can call police on 101.