My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office (Alan Campbell) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I am issuing today guidance to the Serious Organised Crime Agency on the exercise of its functions under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. I am placing a copy of the guidance in the Library.
Under Section 2A of the 2002 Act, as inserted by paragraph 124 of Schedule 8 to the Serious Crime Act 2007, SOCA must exercise its functions in the way which it considers is best calculated to contribute to the reduction of crime. In considering this, SOCA must have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State. The guidance broadly sets out the way in which the agency should operate in this respect.
Guidance in the same terms is being issued simultaneously by the Attorney-General to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions, the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, in accordance with Section 2A. In the interests of convenience and consistency of approach the Attorney-General and I are issuing our guidance jointly in the same document.
The joint guidance is being issued in accordance with the commitment in the Government’s report Extending Our Reach: A Comprehensive Approach to Tackling Serious Organised Crime (Cm 7665), published in July, to facilitate the use of non-conviction-based asset recovery powers.
I am placing a copy of the joint guidance on the Home Office website.