Dear Mr Preston,

 

Thank you for your email of 31 October providing a link to an article that you wrote concerning confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  I very much regret the delay in responding.

 

You ask what plans the Government has of using money from the proceeds of crime for the benefit of the community.  Your interesting article suggests that the Proceeds of Crime Act has been designed simply to raise revenue.

 

Under the Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme, 50% of recovered moneys is returned to the frontline agencies involved in asset recovery.  As illustrated in your article, this is distributed between the investigation, prosecution and enforcement agencies.  It has the entirely right purpose of encouraging further work in this area, which is a good criminal justice outcome.  A recent Judicial Review against the scheme on the basis that it unfairly influenced law enforcement agencies’ actions was wholly rejected.

 

The agencies can also use returned money to contribute to crime reduction, and this can include contributing to victims, support groups and community projects.  Investigation and prosecution bodies involved in particular offences should consider the best use of allocations returned from successful asset recovery in those cases.

 

Further, in terms of funding local community projects, the Home Office announced a Community Action against Crime: Innovation Fund in which £5m in 2011-12 and a further £5m has been set aside for 2012-13.  The funding is available to encourage greater community activism and to enable communities to develop innovative approaches to tackling local crime issues that matter to them. Details are available here:

 

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/partnerships/innovation-fund/

 

 

Yours sincerely,

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