Derbyshire Police Federation

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

12 March 2024

Derbyshire Police Federation has endorsed 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.

“I think this is a movement long overdue,” said branch secretary Kirsty Bunn. “There are some amazing causes out there for staff who have suffered the long-term consequences of police demands, but they simply aren’t getting enough funding.”

The Act, passed in 2002, recovered £339.1 million of assets through Confiscation, Forfeiture and Civil Recovery Orders in the financial year 2022 to 2023. This figure is down only five 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 can be used to good effect, such as for further asset recovery, victim compensation, and local anti-crime initiatives, Kirsty believes the people who put themselves in harm’s way to tackle such crime are too much of an afterthought.

She continued: “It doesn’t make sense that there is all this money and none of it is put to the benefit of the first line of defence against the same criminal activity it is raised from. As police, we are the ones who go out into the field and confront crime head-on.”

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

“The existence of organisations like Police Care UK should not be underestimated. The public may see a criminal being caught and think that’s the end of the story. What isn’t as visible is an officer who has been physically hurt or exposed to psychological trauma in the process,” Kirsty said, adding: “They need the tools to help these officers as best as possible.”

The petition, which was rolled out at the end of February, has already crept over thousand signatures on the Official UK Parliament website, and Kirsty has urged Federation members to add their own.

“This is a chance for our welfare to get more of the recognition it deserves, and I would encourage everyone to take it while it gains momentum.”

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

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June 2024