Describing the situation as a ‘shambles’, chairwoman Margaret Hodge MP criticised the poor performance of the agencies involved. ‘It is unclear who is responsible and accountable for what’, the MP said. The report cited poor implementation of the confiscation order scheme saying that this had severely hampered its effectiveness. It also observed that not enough orders were being made, that insufficient was being done to enforce orders once made – especially in higher value cases – and that the incentive scheme to encourage the many bodies involved to confiscate proceeds of crime was opaque and ineffective.
‘The report makes very concerning reading, particularly at a time when the Government is telling us that it has no alternative but to shave £220 million off the Criminal Legal Aid bill’ says Criminal Team leader Oliver Saxby QC. ‘With only 26 pence in every £100 of criminal activity collected by the Government, the scope for more effective recovery is enormous‘.
Click here to view the Public Accounts Committee Report on Confiscation Orders.