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Policing and Crime Act 2009

Section 65 Forfeiture of detained cash

328.POCA gives powers to the police, officers of HM Revenue and Customs and certain accredited financial investigators to seize and detain cash derived from or intended for use in unlawful conduct and to secure its forfeiture by order of the magistrates’ court, or sheriff in Scotland. Section 66 introduces new provisions to enable law enforcement agencies to forfeit detained cash without a court order in uncontested cases.

329.Section 65 inserts new sections 297A -297G into POCA. Where a cash detention order has been made under section 295(2) of POCA, new section 297A(2) provides for a senior officer to give a forfeiture notice to any person.

330.Subsection (3) provides that the Secretary of State must make regulations about how a notice is to be given. Subsections (6) and (7) provide a definition of a senior officer. Subsection (8) provides that the notice for these purposes is to be referred to as a forfeiture notice.

331.New section 297B deals with the content of a forfeiture notice. Subsection (1) sets out what must be contained in a forfeiture notice. It also requires the notice to specify a period for objecting and an address for objections.

332.Subsection (2) provides that the period for lodging a objection to the proposed forfeiture must be at least 30 days from the date after the notice was given.

333.New section 297C sets out the effect of giving a forfeiture notice. Once a notice is given subsection (2) provides for the cash to be detained until it is forfeited under the section, or the notice lapses, or the cash is released. The notice lapses if an objection is made within the period for objecting. If no objection is made within that period, and the notice has not lapsed, the cash is forfeited, without the need for any additional court process.

334.New section 297D makes provision for the further detention or the release of cash following the lapse of a forfeiture notice.

335.Under section 297E, a person aggrieved by forfeiture under this procedure has the right to apply to the magistrates’ court to set aside the forfeiture of the cash or any part of it. Such an application must be made within 30 days of the day on which the period for objecting ended, although an out of time application may be given permission by the court in exceptional circumstances.

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