Fed chair backs petition for POCA funds to be used in support of officers


PUBLISHED 19 Mar 2024

IN News

Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom has backed a campaign for an allocation of funds seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act to go towards the support of officers living with injuries and conditions sustained in policing.

A petition has recently been launched to propose the introduction of a policy that would see organisations providing care to affected officers, both active and retired, receive an annual portion of money recovered from assets obtained through criminal activity.

“For too long, the welfare of police staff has not been a priority when it comes to the distribution of the proceeds of crime,” said Liz, adding: “This movement represents a real chance to change that.”

The Act, passed in 2002, recovered £339.1m of assets through Confiscation, Forfeiture and Civil Recovery Orders in the financial year 2022 to 2023. This figure is down only 5 per cent on 2021 to 2022, the highest year on record for proceeds of crime, and still reflects the overall rising trend in asset recovery over the last six years.

While acknowledging that funds generated have historically been put to good use throughout society, Liz believes there is a need for some officers to feel the benefit of the Act more directly.

“It can’t be right that a police officer could be harmed in tackling criminal activity head-on, leading to money being seized, to then not see a penny of it. We put ourselves in harm’s way every day.”

Beneficiaries of the campaign’s success would include Police Care UK, who have appealed for more funding in their efforts to support the welfare, recovery and wellbeing of current and ex-staff who are injured or living with disability and mental health issues as a result of their roles in the Force.

“Crime can carry a legacy and it isn’t always the end of the story when a criminal is caught – there are consequences that people will not always consider,” Liz continued. “Police officers can be left with day-to-day struggles.

“These organisations need the backing to do invaluable work for these officers.”

The petition, which was rolled out at the end of February, has already reached 2,000 signatures on the Official UK Parliament website and is heavily endorsed by Liz.

She ended: “This campaign could lead to better opportunities for colleagues affected by the demands of our profession to be supported. I would urge every member to get behind it.”

Members can sign and learn more about the petition by visiting its official page here.