The National Audit Office published earlier this week their report identifying numerous failings in the current use of Confiscation Orders, the primary instrument of the criminal justice system to deprive criminals of the proceeds of crime.
The report covers many aspects of the confiscation regime, including a review of the efficacy of the multi-body structure that controls and executes the regime, and an evaluation of the entire process, from identification of suitable cases to the enforcement of Orders.
The report approximated (using National Fraud Office figures) that for every £100 of criminal proceeds, only 26 pence was successfully confiscated in 2012-2013, and this figure rose to only 35 pence when all other asset recovery measures available to the criminal justice system, e.g. restraint orders, were included.
Further, the report identified that the current regime is ill equipped to confiscate assets located abroad, and that no government organisation involved in the confiscation regime demonstrated market-leading practices with respect to financial management and debt collection.
Against this, there is a strong record of success in recovering assets through the civil litigation process, both domestically and overseas by formulating cogent strategies and working closely with trusted local experts.