Over recent years the Home Office has incentivised financial investigation, with a proportion of confiscated monies returned to law enforcement agencies to enable investment in local crime fighting priorities.
Research has highlighted that one in seven of us knows someone who is living off the proceeds of crime. Persistent offenders see the fines and sentences passed down by the courts as an occupational hazard. Many crimes are financially motivated and the rewards to the criminal can be high.
The aim of Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) is to remove from criminals the profits from their crimes and disrupt and deter criminality. A financial investigation can complement criminal prosecution. Asset recovery should be seen by prosecuting bodies as an everyday tool in the disruption of crime. POCA can be used for purposes much wider than those traditionally considered and applied in all cases involving acquisitive offending. At West Yorkshire Financial Investigation Service, we strive to work on cases where financial investigation is also used to ensure victims are identified and compensated.
A financial investigation can commence at any point prior to sentence. Clearly the sooner we get involved the more time we will have to conduct a thorough investigation. Some financial enquiries can be complex and we want to undertake the best investigation we can. Don’t worry if it is late in the day, as long as the defendant has not yet been sentenced, we can help.
If you think you have a case that you think could be suitable for a financial investigation, contact us by calling 0113 535 0000 or emailing FinancialInvestigations@wyjs.org.uk . You may be surprised to find out how much we can help.