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Human Trafficking: Confiscation Orders

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many confiscation orders there were against convicted traffickers between 1 April 2009 and 31 January 2010; and what estimate he has made of the likely level of savings to the public purse as a result. (324637)

The available information is provided in the following table. The figures shown in the table relate solely to cases recorded on the Ministry of Justice courts proceedings database where an offence of Human trafficking or Drug trafficking was the principal offence for which the offender was sentenced and where the confiscation order was made at the point of sentence. It is possible that a confiscation order will be made in a separate court appearance following sentence. These cases are not included in this answer so it is possible the true number of confiscation orders is higher than presented here.

Data for 2008 have been provided as data for 2009 and 2010 are not yet available. Sentencing data for 2009 will be published later this year.

No estimates of likely levels of savings to the public purse relating specifically to confiscation orders for trafficking are known to have been calculated by the Ministry of Justice.

50 per cent. of money recovered is given back to the operational bodies to drive up asset recovery work. 50 per cent. is retained by the Home Office for core funding including the Regional Assets Recovery Team. This money represents an addition to budgets rather than a saving and is important in providing extra resources to take proceeds off the criminals.

Confiscation orders issued for drug1 or people trafficking2, 2008

Drug trafficking

People trafficking

Total confiscation orders (number)



Amount confiscated (£)



n/a = not applicable

1 This includes drug offences relating to importation and exportation, supply, production and other relevant drug offences. These figures have been taken from table 4.10 of Sentencing Statistics 2008.

2 Trafficking into the UK for sexual exploitation

Trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation

Trafficking out of the UK for sexual exploitation

Trafficking people Into the UK for the purpose of exploitation

Trafficking people within the UK for the purpose of exploitation

Trafficking people out of the UK


1. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

2. These data have been taken from the Ministry of Justice Court Proceedings database. These data are presented on the principal offence basis. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed. Where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.

3. Sentencing data are usually based on the principal offence and the primary disposal for that offence. A confiscation order is an ancillary disposal usually given alongside the main sentence, these results show the number and amount for confiscation orders given as any one of four disposals recorded against a principal offence of trafficking.