Consultation on criminal assets recovery Codes of Practice launched

Date published: 15 February 2024

Department of Justice has launched a public consultation to seek views on recovery of criminal assets Codes of Practice.

Updates to two existing codes of practice and one new code of practice are required to take account of new measures under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023.

The Codes of Practice refer to search, seizure and detention of property; investigations; and recovery of cryptoassets search powers.

  • Search, seizure and detention of property: This revised code provides guidance about exercising the powers to search and seize and detain property in order for it to be sold to meet the value of a confiscation order in certain circumstances.
  • Investigations: This revised code provides guidance on the exercise of the investigation powers in Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).  It includes extended powers relating to civil recovery and confiscation investigations and transfer of jurisdiction from the High Court to the Crown Court in detained cash investigations. 
  • Recovery of cryptoassets: search powers: This new code provides guidance on the exercise of powers to search for cryptoassets or cryptoasset-related items.

The Department of Justice has a statutory duty to issue new and revised Codes of Practice where asset recovery powers under Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002 change.

The consultation is about the guidance provided in the Codes of Practice on the exercise of the powers, rather than the actual powers, which are already passed in law. 

Further information on the consultation, including how to respond is available on the Department's website publication page at Consultation on codes of practice issued under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 | Department of Justice ( or on Citizenspace at Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 - Draft Codes of Practice (Northern Ireland) - NI Direct - Citizen Space

The eight week consultation closes on Wednesday 10 April 2024.

Notes to editors: 

1.The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023  are available online.

2.Cryptoasset means a cryptographically secured digital representation of value or contractual rights that uses a form of distributed ledger technology and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically.

3.A cryptoasset-related item means an item of property that is, or that contains or gives access to information that is likely to assist in the seizure of cryptoassets that are recoverable property or intended for use in unlawful conduct.

4.Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice press office at

5.The Executive Information Service operates an out of hour’s service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted out of hours on 028 9037 8110.

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