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Policing and Crime Act 2009

Section 58 Power to sell seized personal property: England and Wales

311.Section 58 inserts new sections 67A to 67D of POCA. New section 67A provides that property that has been seized in England and Wales by an appropriate officer under a relevant seizure power, or which has been produced to such an officer in compliance with a production order under section 345 of POCA, may be sold to meet a confiscation order in certain circumstances. The definition of an appropriate officer is set out in new section 41A(3) (as inserted by section 52 of the Act). The definition of a relevant seizure power is set out in new section 41A(4). The magistrates’ court may authorise an appropriate officer to sell the seized property to satisfy a confiscation order, if the seized property belongs to a person against whom a confiscation order has been made, the time to pay that order has expired, and provided that an enforcement receiver has not been appointed in relation to the property.

312.The new section 67A uses the terminology “personal property” rather than “property” as used elsewhere in related provisions. The reference to “personal property” excludes cash that has been seized under section 19 of PACE (see new section 41A(4)(c) of POCA, as inserted by section 52, which provides that section 19 PACE will be a relevant seizure power for the purposes of the new provisions). Cash seized under section 19 of PACE can be dealt with under section 67 of POCA.

313.New section 67B enables the appropriate officer to claim the costs of storing and selling the property from the sums paid in satisfaction of a confiscation order. The amount to be paid in relation to these costs will be determined by the magistrates’ court.

314.New section 67C introduces a right of appeal to the Crown Court against a magistrates’ court’s order authorising the sale of the property. The right of appeal is available to third parties affected by the order but not to the person against whom the confiscation order is made. There is also a right of appeal for an appropriate officer to appeal against a magistrates’ court’s decision not to authorise the sale of the property. In addition the officer may appeal against a decision by the magistrates’ court not to award costs or against the amount of costs awarded under new section 67B.

315.New section 67D specifies how sums from the sale of the property authorised under new section 67A are to be disposed of by the appropriate officer. Firstly, they must meet the expenses of an insolvency practitioner that are payable under section 432 of POCA. They must then be used to meet any payments directed by the court and the remainder must be remitted to the designated officer of the magistrates’ court responsible for enforcing the confiscation order.  Where the confiscation order has been fully paid and the officer has any sums remaining, new section 67D(3) requires him to distribute that money as directed by the court.

316.Section 58(5) amends section 55(4) of POCA to provide for the payment to an appropriate officer of the costs of storage and sale, as directed by the court under new section 67B, to be paid from sums received by the designated officer on account of the amount payable under a confiscation order.

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