Scottish Government launches consultation on new guidance for police searches for proceeds of crime

Written by Jenni Davidson on 3 November 2017 in News

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said there would be “no let-up” in tackling organised crime

Money - Image credit: Howard Lake via Flickr

A consultation on new guidance to prevent criminals from profiting from crime has been launched this week.

The Scottish Government has produced a draft new code of practice for police searches for valuables gained through criminal activity.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson said criminals should not be allowed to profit from their crimes and the code would give police officers “clear guidance” in searching for and identifying valuables.


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The code of practice replaces current guidelines on seizures of cash, building on the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which redefines what can be seized as a criminal asset.

Items that can be confiscated as proceeds of crime during searches of people, buildings or vehicles can include jewellery, precious stones, stamps, watches and betting slips.

More than £4m has already been recovered by the Crown Office and the Civil Recovery Unit this year, with profits recovered invested in communities.

Matheson said: “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.”

The consultation on the code of practice runs until 13 December.

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