Justice Secretary proposes tighter proceeds of crime rules to Home Office

Michael Matheson

The Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has written to the Home Office outlining potential ways to strengthen the proceeds of crime legislation to make it tougher for criminals to avoid paying up.

The Scottish government wants the police to be able seize items of monetary value from criminals, such as high value betting slips and casino chips.

Money seized through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is reinvested in the CashBack for Communities programme, a Scottish government initiative which reclaims cash to fund activities and opportunities in local communities.

Mr Matheson said: “These stronger measures would see serious organised criminals hit harder in the pocket.

“It will put an end to criminals trying to dodge cash seizures by putting it into high value items such as betting slips.

“These changes have the potential to allow Scottish courts to seize more money from criminals and re-invest it back into local communities and fund facilities that stop young people getting involved in crime in the first place.”

Working with the Home Office, the Scottish government said it has steadily strengthened the Proceeds of Crime Act in Scotland, from increasing the tests that demonstrate someone has a criminal lifestyle, to removing the possibility of criminals being sent to jail rather than pay the money, and improving information sharing.