Today I lay before Parliament the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 Appointed Person report covering England and Wales for the period 2022-23. The Appointed Person is independent of Government and scrutinises the circumstances and manner in which search and seizure powers conferred by the Act are exercised without prior judicial approval and where nothing is seized for more than 48 hours.
I am pleased that we are now able to publish the Appointed Person’s latest report. The report details that search and seizure powers were used in these circumstances on seven occasions.
The Appointed Person has confirmed in the report that he is satisfied that the criteria required for justifying the searches without prior judicial approval were met and that the powers of search were exercised appropriately. The Appointed Person has made no new recommendations for the period. This would indicate that the powers are being used reasonably and appropriately in accordance with the Act. We will continue to monitor the way that the powers have been used closely.
Copies of the report will be available in the Vote Office.