Police target criminals' cash

14 November 2012

New Scotland Yard

More than 1,300 police officers were busy working across London today (Wednesday 14 November), targeting key figures in organised criminal networks, gang members and street-level offenders, as the MPS continues its total war on crime.

Operation Stimtone 2 is the largest day of action the MPS has ever put together to tackle criminals specifically by investigating their financial activities.

360 separate operations were scheduled throughout the day.

By late afternoon there had been 175 arrests for a variety of offences including money laundering, fraud, theft and handling stolen goods. Police had seized approx. £348,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), including an Audi.

Drug dealing, trafficking and prostitution, money laundering, rogue landlords, vehicle documentation fraud, handling stolen goods, conspiracy to defraud charities, as well as seizing assets and confiscating money from criminals using the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 are on Operation Stimtone 2's agenda.

Using their specialist skills, around 200 financial investigators are investigating a range of financial data in detail, painstakingly unravelling the full amount criminals may have made from crime with a view to confiscating the illegal cash and spotting other illegal activity. They also work to identify individuals who have assisted criminals, as well as new victims.

Today's activity took place across all London's 32 boroughs and saw local and specialist officers:

-enforcing confiscation orders for large sums of money;
-seizing cash and assets from criminals;
-restraining criminals' assets so they cannot be moved out of the country;
-arresting suspects for a wide range of offences, and investigating their finances to build up strong cases against them;
-using currency detection dogs to sniff out hidden money;
-gathering information on criminals from the public;
-enforcing financial reporting orders and serious crime prevention orders, which restrict what a criminal can do with money after they have been convicted

Operation Stimtone 2 is about taking the profit out of crime and letting criminals know that, together with partners, the MPS will pursue them to recover their criminal gains.

Today's action marks a renewed focus on investigating criminal finances, to bring to justice the full spectrum of criminals.

MPS commander, Steve Rodhouse, who is leading Operation Stimtone 2, said: "Money is the main motivation for many criminals, be they heads of organised criminal networks, gang members or street-level offenders. The money they make from crime earns them status in the eyes of associates; it funds more crime and, for some, pays for them to lead luxurious lifestyles they do not deserve. They make billions of pounds from crime every year and it is their countless victims who pay the price - both literally and in respect of the emotional, mental and physical impact on them.

"When we take away criminals' money, we take away a lot of their capability and motivation to commit crime. This is why today we have over 1,300 officers all set on depriving criminals across London of their criminal proceeds."

We are also asking the public to assist us by reporting if they believe someone is living off money from crime. They can do this by calling us on 101, or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.