Asset Recovery: Substantive or Symbolic?

Jackie Harvey

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    The arrival of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 was widely regarded as contributing a significant weapon to the armoury deployed in the fight against crime. For a government focused on proving the adage ‘crime does not pay’, it provided extensive powers of asset recovery. However, the agencies tasked with recovering those assets have had mixed success with the much maligned Assets Recovery Agency being disbanded and its role absorbed within the Serious Organised Crime Agency. The purpose of this paper is to consider some of the issues that have arisen in connection with the UK asset recovery regime asking if this approach was ever meant to make a substantive contribution to reducing criminal activity or if it was only ever merely symbolic, to be used as a means of legitimising government action that was grounded in the imagery of threat. In order to achieve these objectives, the paper draws on asset recovery data and information on agency costs for both ARA and SOCA. This data is sourced from both published sources and from information supplied to the author by these agencies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDirty Assets: Emerging Issues in the Regulation of Criminal and Terrorist Assets
    EditorsColin King, Clive Walker
    Place of PublicationFarnham
    Number of pages352
    ISBN (Print)9781409462538
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

    Publication series

    NameLaw, Justice and Power


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