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Last year, the Metropolitan Police Service confiscated £73 million under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which allows any money earned as the result of a criminal offence to be recovered. The total was the largest since the Act became law in 2002 and contributed to the £317 million seized or confiscated since Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the retiring commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, took office in 2011.

In terms of physical cash, the largest single amount forfeited to the force was £943,000 in bank notes, discovered in a large holdall in the back seat of a black cab in east London. The money was being couriered around the capital by an organised crime gang, according to Scotland Yard.

Funds forfeited under the Act are paid to the Home Office, but the Metropolitan Police Service receives a percentage back through the so-called Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme.

In related news, two former Metropolitan Police Service detectives have embarked upon a joint enterprise, known as ‘My Local Bobby’, which is effectively a private, bespoke police force for Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge. Former Newham Borough Commander Tony Nash and former Detective Chief Inspector David McKelvey are the brains behind the force, which will not only patrol the streets of three of the wealthiest boroughs in London, but offer various other security services, by subscription. Both men have signed an agreement with the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Record Office, allowing them access to sensitive criminal records for the purposes of private prosecution. My Local Bobby will be a subsidiary of TM Eye, a company that has been run by David McKelvey since its inception 10 years ago and has brought 300 successful private prosecutions.

Elsewhere, Darren February, already serving 8½ years for causing death by dangerous driving, has also been found guilty of burglary at the Holland Park mansion owned by Simon Cowell. February, 33, broke into the property in December 2015 and emptied a safe containing valuables worth £1 million. However, presented with CCTV and DNA evidence, a jury took less than an hour to find him guilty of burglary and he was remanded in custody awaiting sentencing. February subsequently struck and killed Kenneth Baldwin, 52, while driving at high speed through West London and was captured on CCTV making no attempt to aid the dying man.