It is a well-established principle of justice that criminals should not profit from their offences, and recovering the proceeds of crime has become an increasingly important element of the criminal justice agenda. The principal tool for recovering crime proceeds is the confiscation order, and this study sought to identify the extent of attrition (financial loss) in the confiscation order process and why it occurs.
Home Office Research Report 17 contains an analysis of confiscation data held on the Joint Asset Recovery Database, a more detailed examination of a sample of confiscation order cases from five police force areas, and interviews with those involved at different stages of the confiscation order process.
The results show that the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002) has assisted the process of asset recovery, and is generally supported by practitioners. Nevertheless, there are areas where action could be taken to improve the confiscation process and the amount it recovers.