Consultation launched on proceeds of crime searches
A new code of practice on police searches for assets related to criminal activity has been published for consultation ahead of legislation taking effect in the spring.
The code builds on new legislation, the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which redefines what can be seized as a criminal asset and will ensure that items that can be seized as being proceeds of crime can include precious stones, stamps, watches and betting slips.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Criminals should not be allowed to profit from their crimes and our law enforcement agencies already have robust powers to seize assets acquired by illegal means.
“More than £4,000,000 has aleady been recovered by the Crown Office and the Civil Recovery Unit this year and we will continue to disrupt the activities of criminals across Scotland.”
He added: “The draft code of practice will give Police Scotland officers clear guidance as they search for and identify valuable items which, while not simply being a sum of cash, are clearly assets purchased by means of criminal gain.
“Whether it’s a gold necklace, a diamond ring or a high-end watch, I am determined that crime will not pay and we will continue to put these ill-gotten gains back into communities through the Cashback programme. There will be no let-up in tackling organised crime and the harm it causes.”