Draft Code of Practice on the Exercise by Constables in Scotland of Searches for Cash and Listed Assets

Closed 13 Dec 2017

Opened 1 Nov 2017

Feedback updated 24 Jan 2018

We asked

For your views on a draft code of practice on the exercise of powers by constables to search for cash and/or listed assets under sections 289 and 303C of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

You said

Seven responses were received - four from individuals and three from organizations. Main themes discussed included prior approval and the accessibility of the code.

We did

We have carefully considered the responses and made changes to the draft code as appropriate.

Results updated 23 Jan 2018

Overall the new Code received a mixed response although its alignment to the principles, ethos and procedures of the Code on the Stop and Search of the Person was welcomed. Respondents offered varied comments on how the Code provides for constables to act with due consideration to fairness, integrity, respect and human rights, whilst there was also a wide range of very individual and specific points about different aspects of the Code.


We are consulting on a draft code of practice. It is a code of practice for police constables in Scotland when they are searching people, premises or vehicles for cash or listed assets (a list in the Criminal Finances Act 2017 which includes precious stones, stamps, watches etc) which may have been obtained through unlawful conduct or be intended for use in unlawful conduct.

The code replaces an existing code on searches for cash and has been expanded to include searches for listed assets and a revised definition of cash. This reflects the imminent introduction of searches for listed assets (or "personal (or moveable) property") into the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) as a result of amendments to POCA by the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

Why we are consulting

We are consulting because we want the code to be as fair, useful and up to date as possible. We welcome the views of any organisation or individual with an interest in the code including those who might be carrying out searches and those who might be searched. We are particularly keen to make sure that appropriate safeguards are in place with respect to the searching of vulnerable individuals.

Download the consultation paper.

What happens next

We will review the draft code in the light of the responses to the public consultation. We will then lay the revised draft in the Scottish Parliament for consideration under affirmative procedure.

If the Parliament agrees the code, it will come into effect in time for the commencement of the relevant provisions in the Criminal Finances Act 2017. It is planned that these provisions will be commenced on 16 April 2017.


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