My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Vernon Coaker, has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Seizing criminal assets delivers a wide range of benefits, from depriving criminals of capital to reducing the incentives for crime and the harm caused by crime, as well as promoting fairness and confidence in the criminal justice system. In 2006-07, the total amount recouped by all agencies involved in asset recovery in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was £125 million. This is a fivefold increase over five years. We want to build on this success. The Government are therefore publishing today an asset recovery action plan. The action plan has two purposes. First, it sets out robust proposals on how we are to reach our challenging target of recovering £250 million of the proceeds of crime by 2009-10. The plan goes on to outline, for consultation, policy proposals for taking things further, including some radical ideas to move towards the Government's long term vision of detecting up to £1 billion of criminal assets.
The consultation period will end on 23 November 2007. A copy of the action plan is being placed in the Library of the House.