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Legislation

Key pieces of legislation govern SOCA’s existence and how we go about our work.

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

This Act established the Serious Organised Crime Agency and designated its functions. It sets out how SOCA co-operates with the police, intelligence agencies, HMRC, financial regulators, international partners and many others. Immunity notices and reductions in sentence for assisting offenders (i.e. offenders willing to turn Queen’s evidence) are provided for, and the Act contains provisions relating to the protection of witnesses, law enforcement officers, jurors, judges, magistrates, prosecutors and their staff. It also covers informants or sources.

Serious Crime Act 2007

This Act created the Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO), and allows widespread data sharing between government agencies. It also abolished the Assets Recovery Agency and redistributed its functions, making recovery of the proceeds of crime a responsibility of SOCA.

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

This Act created the Assets Recovery Agency, now part of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). Among its provisions is a power of civil recovery to allow the government to recover the proceeds of criminal activity without requiring a criminal conviction.

Extradition Act 2003

SOCA has responsibilities in implementing extradition procedures. SOCA is now the “designated authority” for extradition requests

Several other Acts of Parliament are relevant to our work.

Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009

This Act is designed to simplify immigration law and strengthen borders

Customs and Excise Management Act 1979

This is a wide ranging Act covering most of HM Revenue & Customs powers to search and question. It has been updated by the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005

Freedom of Information Act 2000

The Act creates a statutory right of access to information held by public authorities. Under certain circumstances SOCA can claim exemption under the s23 provisions which apply to security bodies.

Human Rights Act 1998

This incorporates into British law key elements of the European Convention on Human Rights

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) and the PACE Codes of Practice provide the core framework of police powers and safeguards around stop and search, arrest, detention, investigation, identification and interviewing of detainees. These powers and codes are constantly evolving so a further source of reference is the Home Office PACE pages

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

This Act regulates the circumstances and methods by which public bodies may carry out covert surveillance.

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