Confiscation Orders: Criminal Justice System
HC 738, Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General
- National Audit Office (NAO)
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
'Confiscation Orders: Criminal Justice System (HC 738)' examines the use of confiscation orders in cases of fraud. The report finds that the government has no overall coherent strategy for confiscation orders and this fundamentally undermines the process for confiscating assets.
The annual amount of fraud perpetrated by criminals in England and Wales has been estimated by the National Fraud Authority as some £52 billion.
In 2012-13, 673,000 offenders were convicted of a crime, many of which had a financial element, yet only 6,400 confiscation orders were set. On this basis, it has been further estimated that, out of every £100 generated by the criminal economy, £99.65 was kept by the perpetrators.
Without the government knowing what constitutes the overall success of its policy, the bodies involved have no way of knowing which criminals or court cases should be prioritized for confiscation activity.
Action was not taken early enough in many cases and this, together with out-of-date ICT systems, data errors and poor joint working, hampers the efficiency and effectiveness of enforcing confiscation orders. Throughout the criminal justice system, there is insufficient awareness of the proceeds of crime and its potential impact.
Confiscation orders have a low profile within law enforcement agencies, with low awareness of financial legislation outside specialist teams. This results in many cases not being considered for confiscation. Owing to a lack of data and agreed success criteria, it is impossible to make meaningful cost-benefit assessments of the enforcement of different orders. Where confiscation orders are made and not paid, the main sanctions do not work.
|Format||Paperbck||Published||17 Dec 2013|
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