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19 Charges by SOCA and other receipts

(1) SOCA may make charges in respect of—

(a) the provision by SOCA of any goods or services to any person, or

(b) an agreement for the provision by SOCA of any such goods or services.

(2) Any charges made under subsection (1) may include amounts calculated by reference to expenditure incurred, or expected to be incurred, by SOCA otherwise than directly in connection with the provision of the goods or services concerned.

(3) Apart from—

(a) grants under section 17,

(b) sums received under section 30(6), and

(c) sums borrowed by SOCA under paragraph 21 of Schedule 1,

all sums received by SOCA in the course of, or in connection with, the exercise of its functions must be paid to the Secretary of State.

(4) Subsection (3) does not apply where the Secretary of State so directs.

(5) Any sums received by the Secretary of State under subsection (3) must be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

20 Accounts

(1) SOCA must—

(a) keep proper accounts and proper records in relation to the accounts; and

(b) prepare a statement of accounts in respect of each financial year.

(2) A statement of accounts under subsection (1) must be in such form, and contain such information, as the Secretary of State may direct.

(3) SOCA must send copies of the statement of accounts for a financial year—

(a) to the Secretary of State, and

(b) to the Comptroller and Auditor General,

within such period following the end of the financial year as the Secretary of State may specify.

(4) The Comptroller and Auditor General must—

(a) examine, certify and report on the statement of accounts, and

(b) lay copies of the statement and of his report before each House of Parliament.

Operational matters

21 Operational responsibility of Director General

(1) The Director General of SOCA has the function of exercising general operational control in relation to the activities carried out in the exercise of SOCA’s functions.

(2) This function includes deciding—

(a) which particular operations are to be mounted in the exercise of any of those functions, and

(b) how such operations are to be conducted.

22 Activities in Scotland in relation to crime

(1) SOCA may only carry out activities in Scotland in relation to an offence which it suspects has been committed (or is being committed) if it does so with the agreement of the Lord Advocate.

(2) In carrying out any such activities in Scotland SOCA must comply with such directions (whether general or special) as it may receive from the Lord Advocate or from the procurator fiscal.

(3) If it suspects that an offence has been committed (or is being committed) in Scotland, SOCA must report the matter to the procurator fiscal as soon as is practicable.

23 Mutual assistance between SOCA and law enforcement agencies: voluntary arrangements

(1) Subsection (2) applies if—

(a) the chief officer of a police force in the British Islands or of a special police force, or

(b) a law enforcement agency operating in the British Islands,

notifies the Director General of SOCA that that force or agency has a special need for assistance from SOCA and requests the Director General of SOCA to provide it with such assistance.

(2) In such a case the Director General of SOCA may provide that force or agency with—

(a) such members of the staff of SOCA, or

(b) such other assistance,

as the Director General of SOCA considers appropriate in the circumstances.

(3) Subsection (4) applies if the Director General of SOCA notifies—

(a) the chief officer of a police force in the United Kingdom or of a special police force, or

(b) a law enforcement agency operating in the United Kingdom,

that SOCA has a special need for assistance from that force or agency and requests it to provide SOCA with such assistance.

(4) In such a case the chief officer of that force or the agency in question may provide SOCA with—

(a) such constables or members of the staff of the agency, or

(b) such other assistance,

as the chief officer or the agency considers appropriate in the circumstances.

(5) But before the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency provides any constable under subsection (4), its Director must obtain the agreement of the chief constable of the police force from which the constable is seconded to the Agency.

(6) Where a member of the staff of SOCA is provided under this section for the assistance of a police force, a special police force or a law enforcement agency, he shall be under the direction and control of the chief officer of the force or the head of the agency (as the case may be).

(7) Where—

(a) a constable,

(b) a member of the staff of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, or

(c) a member of the staff of a law enforcement agency,

is provided under this section for the assistance of SOCA, he shall be under the direction and control of the Director General of SOCA (despite anything in, or in any agreement made under, any other enactment).

(8) Where SOCA provides assistance under this section for—

(a) a police force in the United Kingdom or a special police force, or

(b) a law enforcement agency operating in the United Kingdom,

the relevant police authority or (as the case may be) that agency must pay to SOCA such contribution, if any, as may be agreed between them or, in the absence of agreement, as may be determined by the Secretary of State.

(9) Where SOCA is provided with assistance under this section by—

(a) a police force in the United Kingdom or a special police force, or

(b) a law enforcement agency operating in the United Kingdom,

SOCA must pay to the relevant police authority or (as the case may be) that agency such contribution, if any, as may be agreed between them or, in the absence of agreement, as may be determined by the Secretary of State.

(10) If the assistance mentioned in subsection (8) or (9) is provided for or (as the case may be) by—

(a) a police force in Scotland,

(b) the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, or

(c) the Scottish Administration,

the Secretary of State must, before making a determination under the subsection in question, consult the Scottish Ministers.

(11) In this section—

  • “law enforcement agency” has the meaning given by section 3(4) (subject to any territorial restrictions contained in this section);

  • “police force”, in relation to the British Islands, includes the States of Jersey Police Force, the salaried police force of the Island of Guernsey and the Isle of Man Constabulary;

  • “relevant police authority” means—

    (a)

    in relation to a police force in Great Britain, the police authority maintaining that force (or, in the case of a police force for a combined area, the joint police board for that area),

    (b)

    in relation to the Police Service of Northern Ireland or the Police Service of Northern Ireland Reserve, the Northern Ireland Policing Board,

    (c)

    in relation to the Ministry of Defence Police, the Secretary of State,

    (d)

    in relation to the British Transport Police Force, the British Transport Police Authority,

    (e)

    in relation to the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Civil Nuclear Police Authority, and

    (f)

    in relation to the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, the Agency itself.

24 Mutual assistance between SOCA and law enforcement agencies: directed arrangements

(1) This section applies where it appears to the Secretary of State—

(a) that a body within subsection (2) has a special need for assistance from SOCA or SOCA has a special need for assistance from a body within that subsection,

(b) that it is expedient for such assistance to be provided by SOCA or (as the case may be) the body, and

(c) that satisfactory arrangements cannot be made, or cannot be made in time, under section 23.

(2) The bodies within this subsection are—

(a) any police force in England and Wales or Northern Ireland,

(b) any special police force other than the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, and

(c) any law enforcement agency operating in the United Kingdom other than the Scottish Administration.

(3) In a case where this section applies the Secretary of State may (as appropriate)—

(a) direct the chief officer of the police force to provide such constables or other assistance for the purpose of meeting the need in question as may be specified in the direction;

(b) direct the chief officer of the special police force to provide such constables or other persons, or such other assistance, for the purpose of meeting the need in question as may be so specified;

(c) direct the head of the law enforcement agency to provide such members of the staff of that agency or other assistance for the purpose of meeting the need in question as may be so specified;

(d) direct the Director General of SOCA to provide such members of the staff of SOCA or other assistance for the purpose of meeting the need in question as may be so specified.

(4) A direction under subsection (3) requires the consent of the Treasury if it is to be given to the Commissioners.

(5) Subsections (6) to (9) of section 23 apply in relation to assistance provided under this section—

(a) by SOCA to a police force, a special police force or a law enforcement agency, or

(b) to SOCA by a police force, a special police force or a law enforcement agency,

as they apply in relation to assistance so provided under that section.

(6) In this section “law enforcement agency” has the meaning given by section 3(4) (subject to the territorial restriction contained in subsection (2) above).

25 Directed arrangements: Scotland

(1) This section applies where it appears to the Scottish Ministers—

(a) that a body within subsection (2) has a special need for assistance from SOCA or SOCA has a special need for assistance from a body within that subsection,

(b) that it is expedient for such assistance to be provided by SOCA or (as the case may be) the body, and

(c) that satisfactory arrangements cannot be made, or cannot be made in time, under section 23.

(2) The bodies within this subsection are—

(a) any police force in Scotland, and

(b) the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency.

(3) In a case where this section applies the Scottish Ministers may (as appropriate)—

(a) direct the chief officer of the police force to provide such constables or other assistance for the purpose of meeting the need in question as may be specified in the direction;

(b) direct the Director of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency to provide such constables or other persons, or other assistance, for the purpose of meeting the need in question as may be so specified;

(c) with the agreement of the Secretary of State, direct the Director General of SOCA to provide such members of the staff of SOCA or other assistance for the purpose of meeting the need in question as may be so specified.

(4) Subsections (6) to (10) of section 23 apply in relation to assistance provided under this section—

(a) by SOCA to a police force in Scotland or to the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, or

(b) to SOCA by a police force in Scotland or by the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency,

as they apply in relation to assistance so provided under that section.

26 Use by SOCA of police premises etc.

(1) Arrangements may be made between—

(a) SOCA, and

(b) the relevant police authority,

under which SOCA may use such premises, equipment or other material, facilities or services made available by a police force in England and Wales or Northern Ireland as are specified or described in the arrangements.

(2) If it appears to the Secretary of State—

(a) that it is expedient for arrangements within subsection (1) to be made between SOCA and the relevant police authority, and

(b) that satisfactory arrangements cannot be made, or cannot be made in time, under that subsection,

he may direct SOCA and that authority to enter into such arrangements within that subsection as are specified in the direction.

(3) Before giving such a direction to SOCA or the relevant police authority the Secretary of State must—

(a) notify that body that he is proposing to give the directions, and

(b) consider any representations made to him by that body.

(4) Any arrangements under this section may be varied or terminated by agreement between the parties.

(5) But arrangements entered into in pursuance of a direction under subsection (2) may not be so terminated without the consent of the Secretary of State.

(6) Where any expenditure is incurred by the relevant police authority by virtue of any arrangements under this section, SOCA must pay to the authority such contribution, if any, in respect of that expenditure—

(a) as may be agreed between them, or

(b) in the absence of agreement, as may be determined by the Secretary of State.

(7) In this section “relevant police authority” means—

(a) in relation to a police force in England and Wales, the police authority maintaining that force, and

(b) in relation to the Police Service of Northern Ireland or the Police Service of Northern Ireland Reserve, the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

27 Regulations as to equipment

(1) The Secretary of State may make regulations requiring equipment used by SOCA to satisfy such requirements as to design and performance as may be prescribed by the regulations.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations make any of the following kinds of provision—

(a) provision requiring SOCA, when using equipment for the purposes specified in the regulations, to use only—

(i) the equipment which is specified in the regulations,

(ii) equipment which is of a description so specified, or

(iii) equipment which is of a type approved by the Secretary of State in accordance with the regulations;

(b) provision prohibiting SOCA from using equipment of a type approved as mentioned in paragraph (a)(iii) except—

(i) where the conditions subject to which the approval was given are satisfied, and

(ii) in accordance with the other terms of that approval;

(c) provision requiring equipment used by SOCA to comply with such conditions as may be specified in the regulations, or as may be approved by the Secretary of State in accordance with the regulations;

(d) provision prohibiting SOCA from using equipment specified in the regulations, or any equipment of a description so specified.

(3) Before making regulations under this section Secretary of State must consult—

(a) SOCA, and

(b) such other persons as he considers appropriate.

(4) In this section “equipment” includes—

(a) vehicles, and

(b) headgear and protective and other clothing.

Liability for unlawful conduct

28 Liability of SOCA for acts of seconded staff etc.

(1) SOCA is liable in respect of unlawful conduct of persons to whom this section applies in the carrying out, or the purported carrying out, of their functions as such persons in the same manner as an employer is liable in respect of any unlawful conduct of his employees in the course of their employment.

(2) In the case of any such unlawful conduct of persons to whom this section applies which is a tort, SOCA is accordingly to be treated as a joint tortfeasor.

This subsection does not apply to Scotland.

(3) This section applies to—

(a) any constable or other person who has been seconded to SOCA to serve as a member of its staff, and

(b) any constable or other person who has been provided for the assistance of SOCA under section 23, 24 or 25.

29 Payment by SOCA of amounts in connection with unlawful conduct of employees etc.

(1) SOCA may, in such cases and to such extent as appear to it to be appropriate, pay—

(a) any damages or costs awarded against a person to whom this section applies in proceedings for any unlawful conduct of that person;

(b) any costs (or, in Scotland, expenses) incurred and not recovered by such a person in such proceedings, and

(c) any sum required in connection with the settlement of a claim that has, or might have, given rise to such proceedings.

(2) This section applies to—

(a) any person who is employed by SOCA,

(b) any constable or other person who has been seconded to SOCA to serve as a member of its staff, and

(c) any constable or other person who has been provided for the assistance of SOCA under section 23, 24 or 25.

30 Application of sections 28 and 29 to members of joint investigation teams

(1) Subsection (2) applies where an international joint investigation team has been formed under the leadership of a member of SOCA’s staff.

(2) In such a case—

(a) section 28 has effect in relation to any member of that team who is not a member of SOCA’s staff as if any unlawful conduct in the carrying out, or purported carrying out, of his functions as a member of the team were unlawful conduct of a person to whom that section applies; and

(b) section 29(1) has effect as if it applied to every member of the team to whom it would not apply apart from this subsection.

(3) Subsection (4) applies where a person (“the relevant person”) is carrying out surveillance under section 76A of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (c. 23) (foreign surveillance operations).

(4) In such a case—

(a) section 28 has effect as if any unlawful conduct of the relevant person in the course of carrying out the surveillance were unlawful conduct of a person to whom that section applies; and

(b) section 29(1) has effect as if it applied to the relevant person.

(5) In this section “international joint investigation team” means any investigation team formed in accordance with—

(a) any framework decision on joint investigation teams adopted under Article 34 of the Treaty on European Union;

(b) the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union and the Protocol to that Convention established in accordance with that Article of the Treaty; or

(c) any international agreement to which the United Kingdom is a party and which is specified in an order made by the Secretary of State.

(6) Where—

(a) a sum is paid by SOCA by virtue of this section, and

(b) the Secretary of State receives under any international agreement a sum by way of reimbursement (in whole or in part) of the sum paid by SOCA,

he must pay to SOCA the sum received by him by way of reimbursement.

31 Liability of special police forces and law enforcement agencies for unlawful conduct of SOCA staff

(1) The relevant authority is liable in respect of unlawful conduct of persons to whom this section applies in the carrying out, or the purported carrying out, of their functions as such persons in the same manner as an employer is liable in respect of any unlawful conduct of his employees in the course of their employment.

(2) In the case of any such unlawful conduct of persons to whom this section applies which is a tort, the relevant authority is accordingly to be treated as a joint tortfeasor.

This subsection does not apply to Scotland.

(3) In so far as a relevant authority does not already have power to do so it may, in such cases and to such extent as appear to it to be appropriate, pay—

(a) any damages or costs awarded against a person to whom this section applies in proceedings for any unlawful conduct of that person,

(b) any costs (or, in Scotland, expenses) incurred and not recovered by such a person in such proceedings, and

(c) any sum required in connection with the settlement of a claim that has, or might have, given rise to such proceedings.

(4) This section applies to a member of the staff of SOCA who under section 23, 24 or 25 is provided for the assistance of—

(a) a special police force, or

(b) a law enforcement agency operating in the United Kingdom.

(5) In this section—

  • “law enforcement agency” has the meaning given by section 3(4) (subject to the territorial restriction contained in subsection (4)(b) above), and

  • “relevant authority”—

    (a)

    in relation to a member of the staff of SOCA provided for the assistance of the Ministry of Defence Police, means the Secretary of State,

    (b)

    in relation to a member of the staff of SOCA provided for the assistance of the British Transport Police Force, means the British Transport Police Authority,

    (c)

    in relation to a member of the staff of SOCA provided for the assistance of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, means the Civil Nuclear Police Authority,

    (d)

    in relation to a member of the staff of SOCA provided for the assistance of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, means that Agency,

    (e)

    in relation to a member of the staff of SOCA provided for the assistance of the Commissioners, means the Commissioners,

    (f)

    in relation to a member of the staff of SOCA provided for the assistance of the Scottish Administration, means the Scottish Ministers, and

    (g)

    in relation to a member of the staff of SOCA provided for the assistance of any other law enforcement agency, means such person as is prescribed in relation to that agency by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

Use and disclosure of information

32 Use of information by SOCA

Information obtained by SOCA in connection with the exercise of any of its functions may be used by SOCA in connection with the exercise of any of its other functions.

33 Disclosure of information by SOCA

(1) Information obtained by SOCA in connection with the exercise of any of its functions may be disclosed by SOCA if the disclosure is for any permitted purposes.

(2) “Permitted purposes” means the purposes of any of the following—

(a) the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere;

(b) the prevention, detection or investigation of conduct for which penalties other than criminal penalties are provided under the law of any part of the United Kingdom or of any country or territory outside the United Kingdom;

(c) the exercise of any function conferred on SOCA by section 2, 3 or 5 (so far as not falling within paragraph (a) or (b));

(d) the exercise of any functions of any intelligence service within the meaning of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (c. 23);

(e) the exercise of any functions under Part 2 of the Football Spectators Act 1989 (c. 37);

(f) the exercise of any function which appears to the Secretary of State to be a function of a public nature and which he designates by order.

(3) A disclosure under this section does not breach—

(a) any obligation of confidence owed by the person making the disclosure, or

(b) any other restriction on the disclosure of information (however imposed).

(4) But nothing in this section authorises—

(a) a disclosure, in contravention of any provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 (c. 29), of personal data which are not exempt from those provisions,

(b) a disclosure which is prohibited by Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, or

(c) a disclosure in contravention of section 35(2).

34 Disclosure of information to SOCA

(1) Any person may disclose information to SOCA if the disclosure is made for the purposes of the exercise by SOCA of any of its functions.

(2) A disclosure under this section does not breach—

(a) any obligation of confidence owed by the person making the disclosure, or

(b) any other restriction on the disclosure of information (however imposed).

(3) But nothing in this section authorises—

(a) a disclosure, in contravention of any provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, of personal data which are not exempt from those provisions, or

(b) a disclosure which is prohibited by Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

(4) Information may not be disclosed under subsection (1) on behalf of the Commissioners unless the disclosure is authorised by the Commissioners or by an authorised officer of theirs.