Call for money seized by authorities to fund Invictus Games-style police event

Money which authorities seize from criminals could go towards an Invictus Games-style event for police officers, an MP has said.

Putting a question to Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, Conservative MP Paul Howell called for a debate on how the Government uses proceeds of crime.

More than 5,080 people have signed a petition calling on Parliament to allocate some of the money to groups which “support the welfare, recovery and wellbeing of serving and retired police officers and staff who are injured, living with disability or mental health issues”.

Mr Howell made reference to a community interest company called Police UK Disability Sport, whose founder, Gary Callier, started the petition.

The MP for Sedgefield said: “They are proposing that a portion of the annual proceeds-of-crime money is made available through a central trust, under a police covenant committee, where all police charities and not-for-profit organisations can apply to support all serving and retired police officers through recovery, rehabilitation, treatment, physical and mental health and wellbeing services.

Duke of Sussex - Invictus Thanksgiving
The Duke of Sussex at St Paul’s Cathedral on May 8 for a thanksgiving service to mark 10 years of the Invictus Games (Yui Mok/PA)

“Over £330 million was seized in (the financial year 2022 to 2023). By using £1.75 million, this could (fund) a five-year project on sports events.

“They are looking to create something that’s like a police version of the Invictus Games.

“Could we have a debate on the proceeds-of-crime funding to help establish opportunities for these amazing police officers?”

Ms Mordaunt said: “What a good idea. I will make sure that the Home Secretary has heard that.

“I think it would be a fantastic initiative to have an Invictus Games for those that are disabled, whether in service or through other situations, for our fantastic police.”

The Duke of Sussex founded the Invictus Games in 2014 as an international multi-sport competition for wounded, injured and sick people who have served in the armed forces.

The next games will be in February 2025, in Canada.

In his petition, Mr Callier wrote: “We believe there are not enough opportunities for charities and not-for-profit organisations to access financial aid to help officers and staff through recovery of physical or psychological conditions or disabilities.

“Many police officers pay in to federations and treatment centres out of their own salaries, and the public already fund the police through taxes.

“We would like to see some proceeds of criminal activity help provide ongoing care through treatment for our community.”

According to the College of Policing, authorities can seize money or goods garnered through crime to stop criminals enjoying their gains, and to remove capital from the criminal economy so it cannot be used to fund future criminality.

An Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme (Aris) means a proportion of recovered assets can be distributed to agencies involved in the recovery process, under existing rules.

Also during business questions, Conservative MP Rob Butler (Aylesbury) told Ms Mordaunt the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) turns 50 in 2024.

He said: “Stoke Mandeville Hospital in my constituency is home to the National Spinal Injuries Centre and is also, of course, the birthplace of the Paralympics.

“Will the Leader of the House join me in congratulating the SIA on half a century of work to support people who have spinal cord injuries, and their loved ones, and does she agree this would be a topic worthy of debate in this House?”

Ms Mordaunt said: “I think it would be a topic for a debate, and it would be well attended.”

She added: “I’m sure we will all join with him in thanking the SIA and everyone that supports them for the incredible work that they do to support people with these injuries.”