Police team seizes criminals’ cash

Two men from Todmorden have been ordered to hand over thousands of pounds under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Paul Chalk, of Longfield Road, was issued with a court forfeiture order after police raided his home and found £22,5000 worth of drugs.

The 53-year-old pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and was convicted of possessing Class A and B drugs in June last year. He was sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work.

Now, after a civil prosecution by Calderdale Police’s Proceeds of Crime Act team, he must forfeit £17,960.

Detective Sergeant Bill Hargreaves, who leads the team, said: “Mr Chalk may have thought he was going to get that money back but because we have been able to prove that the money was intended for, or arose from, criminal activity he will not.”

In a separate case, the team secured a confiscation order for £2,760 against Joseph Wheeler, 37, from Oaken Road, who pleaded guilty to handling a stolen mini digger at Bradford Crown Court in September last year. He was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

Detective Sergeant Hargreaves said: “This is another example of the team pursuing people who commit crime and the proceeds of their criminal activity.”

The money will go back into the community by being allocated to voluntary and charity groups.