Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 allows the confiscation of assets from persons who benefit from the proceeds of their criminal conduct. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 also allows the law enforcement agencies, such as the Police, Serious Organised Crime Agency, and the Crown Prosecution Service, to investigate and act to:
- Recover cash, property and other assets, which have been obtained through unlawful conduct or which is intended to be used in unlawful conduct, and to
- Tackle money-laundering operations
Often the onus is on individuals to prove that they acquired their cash and assets legitimately and if they are unable to do so, their cash and assets may be seized and the money obtained will be used towards further asset recovery work or other community projects.
The British Government has introduced a £4 million community 'cashback' scheme which will help communities across the country benefit from assets seized from individuals convicted of criminal offences. Prior to this scheme, money recovered from convicted defendants was split and given to frontline services and Government departments involved with the criminal justice system.
Members of the public have voted for community projects which they believe should receive money and other assets confiscated by law enforcement authorities in their area and are projects which will help tackle anti-social or criminal behaviour in the area.
Home Office figures show the value of assets recovered from defendants in criminal litigation in 2008-09 rose to an all time high of £148 million.
If you have any questions regarding the issues raised in the article please contact Sarah Wallace on 0370 1500 100 or 020 7421 3883.