Police get power to seize betting slips

15 April 2018, 07:03

Betting slip

Police fighting organised crime will be able to seize betting slips, casino chips and even jewellery and precious stones from crooks.

The new move comes into force from Monday, thanks to a change in the law.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson hailed it as a "significant step" in ensuring those involved in illegal activities can not profit from a life of crime.

A change to the provisions in the Criminal Finances Act 2017 means betting slips, casino chips and gaming vouchers can all be seized by police as if they were cash assets.

Officers will also be able to search for items of value - such as jewellery, watches, stamps and precious stones - where they are suspected of being involved in illegal activity.

Welcoming the change, Mr Matheson said: "This is a significant step in ensuring criminals cannot profit from unlawful activities and gives our law enforcement agencies additional powers to seize assets acquired by illegal means.

"More than £6 million was recovered by the Crown Office and the Civil Recovery Unit in 2017/18. However, expanding the definition of what can be treated as cash and what our police officers can search for as they seek to disrupt criminal activity has the potential to further impact Scottish organised crime.

"I am determined that crime will not pay and that every ill-gotten asset can be put back into communities through the Cashback programme, whether it's a gemstone, betting slip or casino chip.

"There must be no respite in tackling organised crime and the harm it causes."