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Taking the Profit Out of Crime: The UK Experience

NCJ Number
European Journal of Crime Volume: iminal Law and Criminal Justice Issue: Dated: Pages: 3 (1997)-239
M Levi
Date Published
12 pages
This article describes the British experience of enforcing proceeds-of-crime legislation.
The article reviews: (1) the impact of asset freezing and confiscation provisions on the organization of crime; (2) investigative strategies and resource deployments most likely and least likely to produce benefits; (3) plausible limits of asset confiscation strategies as an approach to tackling organized crime; and (4) changes in the legislative and institutional framework of policing which would improve the monetary and arrest yield of financial investigation. The article discusses the legislative framework for restraint and confiscation in England and Wales; the extent to which confiscated sums approach estimated proceeds of crime and how the proceeds of crime are estimated; a comparison of the US and UK systems; and the impact of confiscation on the criminal investigation. The British experience has resulted in conviction of relatively few major crime figures. The confiscation order cannot reclaim past expenditures of proceeds of crime by people who have no apparent assets. There is generally no organizational incentive for anyone to deal vigorously with confiscation matters, and there are costs and difficulties involved in assessing realizable assets of defendants. Notes, tables


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