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KinsellaTax were disgusted with the move by the Government to give local councils and agencies asset recovery powers.

 

There has been a great deal of public outcry in response to the change in legal responsibilities.

 

Re-produced below is a response by Mick Creedon, Acpo Lead for Financial Investigation and Proceeds of Crime and also Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, to the much publicised outcry:-

 

“Sir,

 

 

The power for local authorities to conduct financial investigations has been with us for some time and there are many examples where their investigators have assisted in dealing with organised criminal activity that has made huge (and unlawful) financial benefit.

 

 

Trading Standards deals with many cases of counterfeiting and in some cases there are serious public health issues that the public rightly expects it to address. Any confiscation or forfeiture of assets is always subject to scrutiny by the courts. This requirement will also apply to any other body in the future, providing an important safeguard to ensure that the powers are used appropriately.

 

 

In respect of the National Policing Improvement Agency, be assured that control is very tight. All financial investigators, irrespective of the organisation that employs them, must undertake a rigorous training programme. Without accreditation they cannot obtain financial material from banks and other institutions. The UK has a national network of financial investigators that operates to a common minimum standard. This standard involves continued professional development and if any financial investigators fall foul of that standard they are removed from the list and can no longer operate in that capacity.

 

 

The police service works very closely with partners from all agencies engaged in this work and will continue to assist financial investigators from whatever agency to tackle criminal activity in whatever form it takes.

 

 

The public rightly expects all public bodies to disrupt criminals whenever they can, to remove their criminal profit and to protect the public purse. To suggest that these latest developments are sinister and will focus on law-abiding members of the public is far from the truth. All agencies involved in financial investigation seek to protect victims of crime but also to remove those assets derived from criminal activity. We will all continue to focus our efforts on those who pose the greatest threats to the public.”

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