Freedom of Information: Proceeds of Crime Act (R008164)
Thank you for your requests dated 18 July 2014 and 31 July 2014 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:
"How much money has been confiscated from criminals (and alleged criminals) through action taken by the Crown's Civil Recovery Unit for Edinburgh under the Proceeds of Crime Act since the law's introduction?
Can I have that broken down by year (or part year) since the law was introduced?
Can I have that broken down into a list by case with a date and amount and, if possible, the crime(s) involved? eg. Man. August 2013. £10,000. Drug dealing.
Can I have the person's name in each case? (I understand that because of Data Protection this part of my request may not be possible).
If it's not possible to do this by Edinburgh only, can I have this information for Lothian and Borders or wherever the sheriffdom would be broken down?
If possible, in each case how much money had the police identified for potential seizure to the Crown before the court agreement was reached?
Can I have the same information as above for each of the sheriffdoms in Scotland for the same period?
Can I have a total monetary figure for Scotland for each of the years since POCA came into force that has been seized from criminals/alleged criminals?
I see that you have released similar information in the past with regard to amounts seized in press releases. If any of my request is not possible, can I have the closest approximation you can manage to the requested information?"
I note that you were provided with links to previously published responses and your request was put on hold to allow you to consider those responses and advise if there was any additional information you required. In your e-mail of 31 July, you indicated as follows:
"That is mostly what I was looking for. Would it be possible to get similar figures, broken down by individual, crime type, amount and date for the last full year and year to date as those don't seem to be included".
The previously published information broken down in this way related only to criminal confiscation. In your original request you asked for information about civil recovery. It may help if I explain the difference between these types of confiscation.
There are two mechanisms under the Proceeds of Crime legislation to recover property obtained by illegal activity. In relation to criminal confiscation, once an accused person is convicted a confiscation order can be granted by the court
whereby the subject of the order is required to make payment of a fixed sum of money reflecting the benefit obtained from his or her criminal conduct or, in appropriate cases, from a criminal lifestyle. The Division in Crown Office which deals with criminal confiscation is the Serious and Organised Crime Division.
In the absence of a criminal prosecution, there is also a mechanism to apply for the forfeiture of assets under civil procedure. This is dealt with by the Civil Recovery Unit. You mention the Civil Recovery Unit in your request. This unit does not deal with confiscation after conviction in criminal proceedings, but with applications to recover assests and forfeit cash under civil procedure.
I now attach, at Annex A, tables showing the monies recovered from confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime legislation made at the conclusion of criminal proceedings for FY 2013/14 and the current year to end July 2014. The previously published information also only relates to confiscation following the conclusion of criminal proceedings.
You may note that there are some confiscation orders which are for a nominal amount. In instances where there are no assets available at the time a confiscation order is made an order can be made for as small a figure as £1.00. These confiscation orders are called nominal confiscation orders. The purpose of a nominal order is to preserve the Crown’s position, so that if the accused obtains any assets in the future the Crown can ask the court to recalculate the confiscation order.
It should also be noted that the initials MDA referred to in the Charge column of the attached table refer to the Misuse of Drugs Act.