South-west police are expecting to increasingly use pecuniary penalty orders to fight financially driven crime.
Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo, who oversees south-west crime investigation unit detectives, said police were now more aware of a range of powers to confiscate assets relating to drugs, theft and fraud crimes.
He said assets could be seized and compensation paid to victims of sex offences.
There are a couple of examples in the south-west where caveats have been put on properties prior to sex cases being determined in court.
Senior Sergeant Asenjo said when accused people were found guilty, assets could be seized, sold and compensation paid to victims.
"We do that on behalf of victims," he said.
"A court determines the amount of compensation, for example $100,000.
"So, if a property worth $300,000 is seized, it can be sold, the compensation amount paid and the remainder goes back to the owner.
"Assets don't have to be in the name or complete control of offenders, as long as we can establish there is a link or connection, then we can seize those assets."
The detective said a person found guilty of drug trafficking could have a PPO put in place to pay back their financial gain.
He said that was not a net gain, but a gross of the financial benefit of being involved in illegal activity.
For example a drug dealer found with a $40,000 tick list, showing transactions, could be required to pay the whole $40,000.
"That's their derived financial gain, we are not talking about just their profit," Detective Senior Sergeant Asenjo said.
"We could make an application to the court for that dollar amount if that case was proven and that order lasts for at least 15 years.
"They may not have assets to pay now, but they may in future.
"That order hangs over their head. We do regular checks, bank account checks, property titles, cars, any registered tangible asset."
The officer said for many criminals involved in financially motivated offending that being imprisoned was an occupational hazard.
"That's a cost of them doing businesses, but pecuniary penalty orders could have a massive impact," Detective Senior Sergeant Asenjo said.
"It adds another layer to disrupting serious criminal activity and ensures that offenders are held to account.
"We are now considering these orders in all serious financially driven crime," he said.
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