Police took more money than criminals did? In the US in 2014?

From the Washington Post:

Here’s an interesting factoid about contemporary policing: In 2014, for the first time ever, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than burglars did. Martin Armstrong pointed this out at his blog, Armstrong Economics, last week.

Officers can take cash and property from people without convicting or even charging them with a crime — yes, really! — through the highly controversial practice known as civil asset forfeiture. Last year, according to the Institute for Justice, the Treasury and Justice departments deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, the FBI reports that burglary losses topped out at $3.5 billion.

Caveats follow, but …

Still, boil down all the numbers and caveats above and you arrive at a simple fact: In the United States, in 2014, more cash and property transferred hands via civil asset forfeiture than via burglary. The total value of asset forfeitures was more than one-third of the total value of property stolen by criminals in 2014. That represents something of a sea change in the way police do business — and it’s prompting plenty of scrutiny of the practice. More.

Reality check: As noted elsewhere, when progressive governments run out of labour to tax, they start seizing assets. Growth in assets seized by police as opposed to criminal activity could be one marker. Stay tuned.

See also: In lean times, police seize more assets?

  • The minute you allow the police to keep a portion of what they take – they will take a lot.

    No mystery here.

    Only fools with too much faith in government would think otherwise.

  • Xavier

    The fact is that the police are a revenue stream for municipalities.

    • The UK and traffic fines, it’s a real nightmare.

  • mauser 98

    Wynne stole more money than all of them

    • Raymond Hietapakka

      They don’t like anyone horning in on their action…

  • P_F

    Very soon Turdo jr. will put these americans to shame

  • Jaedo Drax

    We already have civil forfeiture in Ontario, beyond the part that hydro extracts every month. And if you happen to cross the border and get caught with $10k cdn in negotiable instruments, that can be seized too. Once that occurs it’s neigh impossible to get it back.

  • CodexCoder

    Remember the Magna Carta, the foundation of British common law? Our politicians need a wake-up call because civil asset forfeiture is akin to highway robbery with the support of the crown and without due process on the slimmest of pretenses.