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Asset Detention and Recovery Unit recover £4 million from criminals' pockets

More than £4 million of cash and assets have been recovered by police since April 2023.

This financial year, officers in Greater Manchester Police's (GMP's) Asset Detention and Recovery Unit (ADRU) have forfeited a total of £4,226,798.39. This is made up of £3,816,998.39 in cash and £409,800.00 in listed assets such as high-value watches and jewellery that has been seized.  

The comes from a total of 422 successful forfeiture orders being granted after cases were investigated, prepared and taken to court.

Yesterday, the unit secured £192,486.14 worth of successful forfeiture orders at Tameside Magistrates Court and the result this week means that the ADRU have surpassed last year’s total of £4,022,847.37.

The ADRU conduct "robust and thorough" civil investigations into the derivation of cash and listed assets and the intended use of the proceeds. The case is then presented to the Magistrates Court for them to be satisfied on a balance of probability that the cash is from crime or intended to be used in crime.

For example, officers stopped a vehicle in Droylsden, where the driver made off from police on foot, leaving a female passenger in the vehicle. Upon searching the vehicle, a significant amount of cash was found along with a large hunting knife.

Officers also carried out a warrant in Ardwick in October 2023 where 1.87kg of cannabis was found along with scales, vacuum-sealed bags with a heat-sealing machine, and envelopes, as part of a wider criminal enterprise. There was also a substantial amount of cocaine hidden in the toilet cistern which was seized, and a total of £11,385 cash was found alongside a Rolex Oyster Watch worth more than £12,000, both seized.

When cash is seized from an address or vehicle, or even from a person, it is sealed in an evidence bag before being transported, where designated police staff can count the cash safely.

Through the Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme (ARIS), 50 per cent of the money then comes back to GMP and is spent on various initiatives that benefit the community.

Detective Inspector Sarah Langley, of GMPs ADRU, said: "This is a huge achievement for the team. The officers in the unit work hard and a huge amount of work goes into preparing these cases to go to court to successfully recover criminals' finances.

"The money comes from a wide range of criminal activity from across Greater Manchester, from smaller amounts of cash we retrieve from local drug dealing issues, right up to disrupting large-scale organised criminals operating in Greater Manchester where the money often is used to further serious violence in our communities.

"The team use a variety of powers available from the Proceeds of Crime Act, including cash seizure powers and listed asset powers (such as seizing high-value jewellery, watches and artwork) and also bank account freezing orders.

"For the courts to grant us an application, we have to prove that on a balance of probability, the cash and assets police discover were either obtained from crime or intended to be used in crime, which involves a lot of specialist work behind the scenes.

“But alongside our proactive policing approach to cash and asset recovery, we need you and your information; who in your community is engaging in illicit financial activity and benefitting from this? Through public intelligence, we can continue to get out there and conduct activity to derail and dismantle serious and organised crime across Greater Manchester.”

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