Leicester

Leicestershire 'criminal bling' raises £500,000 on eBay

Leicestershire Police has raised nearly £500,000 selling items seized from criminals on eBay.

Jewellery, Rolex watches and sports cars are among items sold since the scheme started in September 2009.

The goods, confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act, have been bought legitimately by criminals with "dirty money" and were not stolen.

Funds raised are split between the government and the force, a police spokesperson said.

'Ill-gotten gains'

The products for sale online are advertised on Leicestershire Police's Twitter site which has nearly 5,000 followers.

David Hargrave, the force's proceeds of crime property realisation officer, said interest from the public was growing.

"We sell anything the average sort of criminal might have bought out of his ill-gotten gains," he said.

"The most unusual thing I have sold was a mobile home. The most expensive was probably a Mercedes sports car.

"It's amazing really. It's a full-time job for me and two assistants," he said.

The money raised from sales goes to central government which then gives a proportion back to Leicestershire Police for further "asset recovery and to fund local crime fighting issues that benefit the community".

Projects to have benefited from the scheme include the New Parks Community Boxing Gym (£6,000), the Neighbourhood Watch 'Harborough Be Safe' project (£9,000), and the Goldhill Adventure Playground (£11,000).

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