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The Back-Door Governance of Crime: Confiscating Criminal Assets in the UK

Chistyakova, Y, Wall, DS and Bonino, S (2019) The Back-Door Governance of Crime: Confiscating Criminal Assets in the UK. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research. ISSN 0928-1371

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Open Access URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10610-019-09423-5 (Published version)


The policy and practice of confiscating criminal assets to control crime and recover illicit wealth has come to occupy a central position in national and international policing and security agendas. However, this practice has raised many questions about agencies’ abilities to measure success and also the social impacts of asset confiscation. This article contributes to the crime control debates by exploring contemporary literature and drawing upon a subset of data from the Joint Asset Recovery Database (JARD). The first part of the article briefly outlines the key legislative provisions of asset recovery in the UK. The second part explores what the JARD data tells us about the performance of the confiscation of proceeds of crime approach and it will argue that seizing illicit wealth has not been the main priority for government. It will argue instead that the proceeds of crime approach, originally designed to target the most serious and organised crime, has effectively become a disciplining and symbolic tool against relatively lower level acquisitive crimes. It concludes that while technical measures of impact remain inconclusive, it is more important to subject the ideological underpinnings of the proceeds of crime law to critical scrutiny.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1602 Criminology, 1801 Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2019 09:54
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 08:54
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s10610-019-09423-5
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11313
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