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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

May 24, 2007: Seizing Offenders' Assets

Government proposals to give law enforcement agencies new powers to make it easier to seize criminals’ luxury possessions and high value goods used in crime, such as cars and boats, have been announced by Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker. A range of new measures to take asset out of criminal hands have been outlined in the Asset Recovery Action Plan consultation paper. Proposals include:

  • New powers to seize ‘bling’, such as jewellery and plasma TVs, from those charged with acquisitive crimes;
  • Extending powers to include the seizure of cash and other assets such as cars or boats believed to have been used in crimes or are the proceeds of crime;
  • Ensuring the recovery of assets is mainstreamed into the criminal sentencing process;
  • Offering citizens a percentage of assets seized for whistle-blowing on fraud committed against the Government;
  • Removing the time limit for the seizure of assets through civil recovery;
  • Asset sharing with other countries to target assets sent overseas;
  • Creating a system to process seized cash outside the courts, if not contested;
  • Giving law enforcement agencies the authority to decide which assets should be seized to pay the confiscation order;
  • Extending the use of tax powers to target unexplainable criminal assets.

The total amount recouped by all agencies involved in asset recovery in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was £125million in 2006/2007. This represents a five-fold increase over five years. The newly published  Assets Recovery Agency Annual Report 2006/2007 shows that it met or exceeded its key disruption and enforcement targets. Today’s proposals will help achieve the Governments target of doubling last year’s asset recovery target to £250million by 2009/2010. Mr Coaker said:

"Asset recovery is critical to the fight against all levels of crime and is one of the Government’s top priorities for law enforcement. The achievements made over the last five years are impressive and I want to congratulate the hard work and sheer determination of all those who have helped us accomplish the £125million target we set. However, we are not complacent and we are committed to go even further to ensure criminals are not profiting from crime or from the misery of others."

"The Action Plan has been designed to help us take our next steps forward in asset recovery, with new powers to seize more from those who commit crime and measures to ensure processes to retrieve assets are the most effective possible."

"Our new aim is to double last year’s target of £125million assets seized to £250million by 2009/2010. This is an extremely challenging target but the new powers proposed will help us to confiscate even more from criminals and achieve our long term vision of depriving them of up to £1billion."

For more on organised crime and asset seizure, read the Home Office report Organised Crime: revenues, economic and social cost and criminal assets available for seizure.