Editorial: Act hits crims where it hurts

By Dylan Thorne

It's pleasing to hear police are hitting Bay of Plenty criminals in the pocket by seizing millions of dollars worth of their assets.

As we reported yesterday, almost $3.5 million worth of assets have been taken from the control of Bay of Plenty criminals with the same amount forfeited to the Crown in the past 30 months.

Figures released to the Bay of Plenty Times show the region's police used the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act to restrain vehicles, residential properties, cash and bank accounts, motorcycles and equipment valued at $3.44 million between the start of 2011 and the end of June 2013.

During that time 31 vehicles, 21 amounts of cash or bank accounts, 10 motorcycles, five residential properties, boats and trailers, plants and equipment, and jewellery worth $3.45 million were forfeited to the Crown.

It's a hefty haul given the Act came into force only three years ago.

More importantly, Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Hamilton says there is a growing awareness of the consequences of the Act amongst criminals.

The real strength of the Act is that it reinforces the point that crime does not pay and that, after serving their sentence, criminals will not have a nest egg waiting for them once they are released.

It also redistributes the money back into the community to combat the harm caused by crime through crime prevention and drug addiction programmes.

The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act is potentially the most effective tool police have in battling crime because it hits offenders where it hurts - in the wallet.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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