Post detection audit and assessment: contact with offenders
Until sufficient facts are known about the extent of the fraud and a decision is made by the SI case officer, all cases should be treated as though they may result in a criminal prosecution. In order to ensure compliance with the:
- Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE)
- Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (PACE(NI)), and the
- Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 (CLCSA)* requirements concerning evidence of deliberate behaviour, or
the person has taken part in a transaction knowing that it was part of arrangements intended to bring about a loss of duty of excise, or
the person failed to comply with a notification obligation (see the table to paragraph 1 of schedule 41 Finance Act 2008).
all contact with the offender should be conducted or supervised by Special Investigations (SI) staff. If Local Compliance Assurance staff are contacted by traders or their representatives wishing to discuss the case, they should be referred to the SI case officer.
- Note: PACE no longer applies in Scotland. The Finance Act 2007 (FA07) which came into force on 31 December 2007 introduced a set of powers that have been inserted into the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995.
These powers cover the same areas as PACE and are compatible with the Scottish Legal System. The FA07 also made amendments to PACE and to PACE(NI) which now allow HMRC to use sections of PACE and PACE(NI) to be applied to HMRC for all its Criminal Investigations across all its main functions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In addition PACE / PACE(NI) have now been adapted where appropriate to exclude powers that are unnecessary for the conduct of duties and have been tailored in places to fit with HMRC’s particular responsibilities.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Criminal Investigation now use PACE / PACE(NI) as their primary source of legislation for all HMRC tax, duty and tax credit offences, and in Scotland they now use CLCSA.
For further information see the Criminal Justice Procedure Manual oils pages.