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eBay helps generate cash for police

31 December 2014 - 17:27 by Graham Miller

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Over the past 12 months over a quarter of a million pounds has been generated by Leicestershire Police, thanks to the sale of goods it has seized as part of various criminal investigations. And the most interesting thing about this figure is that all of it has come from auctions held on eBay.

Leicestershire Police was the first force in the UK to start using the online auction site to sell seized goods to members of the public via safe shopping online, rather than requiring them to come and bid in person at special events. And since it started using eBay, it has raised over £1.2 million, according to the Telegraph.

A wide variety of items were sold on the site, with the goods taken from criminals ranging from sports cars to signed Frank Sinatra memorabilia. And many individual items ended up fetching tens of thousands of pounds, which shows how worthwhile the use of eBay can be.

Police spokesperson, Paul Wenlock, said that as well as generating some cash to plumb back into the force, this scheme was a reminder to members of the public that criminals are not only punished with jail time, but with the kind of civil action that sees their ill-gotten assets redistributed for the benefit of the public purse.

Wenlock said that even in cases where criminal convictions had not been secured, seized goods were still available for sale via safe shopping online.

In addition to auctioning off the possessions of those who have fallen foul of the legal system, Leicestershire Police has also been selling on its own surplus supplies through eBay’s platform, along with any lost property that is handed to it and remains unclaimed for an extended period and can no longer be stored efficiently.