Suspected criminal assets of £6.5 million seized and 44 people charged.
£68,000 pounds of cash has been taken from suspected criminals and £6.5 million worth of assets have been referred for seizure in one of the largest operations ever undertaken by Lothian and Borders Police. Drugs with a street value of more than £20,000 and counterfeit goods worth £13,000 were also seized during Operation Opulent [18 November 2011]
The operation, which ran for three days last week across Lothian and Borders, is the enforcement phase of the ‘Made From Crime?’ campaign, launched in August, which targets those allegedly living off the proceeds of crime.
Much of the activity has been as a direct result of intelligence and information which has been provided by the public since the campaign launch.
A dedicated Facebook page was set up to direct people with tip-offs to Crimestoppers. In the first month since the launch, Crimestoppers reported a 17 per cent rise in calls to the charity from the Lothian & Borders force area.
More than 280 police officers and staff were involved in the 48 hours of action, with 25 addresses targeted and 44 people charged.
Detective Superintendent David Gordon, Head of Lothian and Borders Police’s Serious Organised Crime Unit said: "This campaign was deliberately designed to be ambitious and tenacious and target criminals who believed they could live lavish lifestyles from the proceeds of crime.
The response we had from local communities throughout the intelligence gathering phase was fantastic, and showed that they were not prepared to tolerate criminality in their area.
This is not the end of our activity and I would appeal to people to continue to come forward with this vital intelligence so that we can actively pursue those living beyond their means. We will not stand for criminality in our communities throughout Lothian and Borders.”
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "Every arrest or seizure made by the police is another step towards ridding organised crime from our society and I welcome the progress that has been made by Lothian and Borders Police since the launch of this campaign.
I thank every member of the public whose information has helped bring those making a comfortable living from crime to justice. As we have seen, information can be given anonymously which can result in arrests. It underlines that we all have a part to play as individuals in making our communities safer.”
Illegal activities will be investigated
The Solicitor General for Scotland, Lesley Thomson said "By working together people can have confidence they can make a difference and help in delivering justice. It also sends out a strong message to criminals in our society that their illegal activities will be investigated; activities disrupted; and criminal assets seized. The prosecution service is pleased to have played its part."
Kate Jackson, national manager for Crimestoppers in Scotland, said: "Everybody is feeling that they have to tighten their belts and people don't like to see that someone is benefiting from crime, or that someone is doing something illegally and reaping the benefits of that.
It is clear from this campaign that the public are keen to make a difference in their area by reporting criminals and wrongdoing and I would urge anyone with information to report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by filling out our secure online form. We do not take your name or record your call but we are interested in what you can tell us.”
Sirazul ISLAM - Wanted for Failing to answer bail - Sexual Assault
Offence: Sexual crime
Offender failed to answer bail to be charged for sexual assault.
Penny Middleton works for the Lancashire Police as a Crimestoppers' Information Co-ordinator. This means that she receives anonymous information f...