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SERIOUS ORGANISED CRIME AND POLICE ACT 2005

UK Public General Acts

Version 01/01/2006

2005 CHAPTER 15

Default Geographical Extent: E+W+S+N.I.


  • Part 1. The Serious Organised Crime Agency
    • Chapter 1. SOCA: establishment and activities
      • Establishment of SOCA
      • Functions (P)
      • General powers (P)
      • Annual plans and reports (P)
      • Central supervision and direction
      • Financial provisions
      • Operational matters
      • Liability for unlawful conduct (P)
      • Use and disclosure of information (P)
      • General duties of police etc. (P)
      • Prosecutions
      • Miscellaneous and supplementary
    • Chapter 2. SOCA: special powers of designated staff
      • Designations
      • Powers exercisable (P)
      • Exercise of powers (P)
      • Supplementary
    • Chapter 3. SOCA: Miscellaneous and supplementary
      • Complaints and misconduct (E+W+N.I.) (P)
      • Application of discrimination legislation (E+W) (P)
      • Joint investigation teams (P)
      • Transfers
      • Amendments (E+W)
  • Part 2. Investigations, prosecutions, proceedings and proceeds of crime
    • Chapter 1. Investigatory powers of DPP, etc. (P)
      • Introductory (E+W+S)
      • Disclosure notices (E+W+S)
      • Enforcement (E+W+S)
      • Supplementary
    • Chapter 2 (E+W+N.I.). Offenders assisting investigations and prosecutions (P)
    • Chapter 3. Financial reporting orders (P)
    • Chapter 4. Protection of witnesses and other persons (P)
    • Chapter 5. International obligations
    • Chapter 6. Proceeds of crime
  • Part 3. Police powers etc.
    • Powers of arrest (E+W)
    • Exclusion zones (E+W)
    • Search warrants (E+W)
    • Fireworks (E+W)
    • Photographing of suspects etc. (E+W)
    • Fingerprints and footwear impressions (E+W)
    • Intimate samples (E+W)
    • Custody officers (E+W) (P)
    • Designated and accredited persons (E+W)
    • Provision of information for use by police staff
    • Interpretation of Part 3 (E+W)
  • Part 4. Public order and conduct in public places etc.
    • Harassment (E+W)
    • Trespass on designated site
    • Demonstrations in vicinity of Parliament (E+W)
    • Anti-social behaviour (E+W)
    • Parental compensation orders (E+W+N.I.) (P)
  • Part 5. Miscellaneous
    • Protection of activities of certain organisations (E+W)
    • Vehicle registration and insurance and road traffic offences
    • Local policing information (E+W) (P)
    • Other miscellaneous police matters (E+W+S)
    • Royal Parks etc. (E+W)
    • Criminal record checks
    • Witness summonses (E+W)
    • Private Security Industry Act 2001: Scotland (E+W+S) (P)
  • Part 6. Final provisions
  • Version 01/01/2006
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  • Version 01/08/2005
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  • Version 07/07/2005
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  • Version 01/07/2005
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  • Version 07/04/2005

Introductory Text

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

2005 CHAPTER 15

An Act to provide for the establishment and functions of the Serious Organised Crime Agency; to make provision about investigations, prosecutions, offenders and witnesses in criminal proceedings and the protection of persons involved in investigations or proceedings; to provide for the implementation of certain international obligations relating to criminal matters; to amend the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002; to make further provision for combatting crime and disorder, including new provision about powers of arrest and search warrants and about parental compensation orders; to make further provision about the police and policing and persons supporting the police; to make provision for protecting certain organisations from interference with their activities; to make provision about criminal records; to provide for the Private Security Industry Act 2001 to extend to Scotland; and for connected purposes.

[7th April 2005]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1
The Serious Organised Crime Agency



Chapter 1
SOCA: establishment and activities



Establishment of SOCA


1 Establishment of Serious Organised Crime Agency

(1) There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Serious Organised Crime Agency (“SOCA”).

(2) Schedule 1 makes provision about the constitution, members and staff of SOCA and other matters relating to it.

(3) Each of the following bodies shall cease to exist on such date as the Secretary of State appoints by order—

(a) the National Criminal Intelligence Service and its Service Authority, and
(b) the National Crime Squad and its Service Authority.
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I1 S. 1(3) in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/3495, art. 2(1)(a)


Functions (PROSPECTIVE)


2 Functions of SOCA as to serious organised crime

(1) SOCA has the functions of—

(a) preventing and detecting serious organised crime, and
(b) contributing to the reduction of such crime in other ways and to the mitigation of its consequences.
(2) SOCA's functions under subsection (1) are exercisable subject to subsections (3) to (5) (but subsection (3) does not apply to Scotland).

(3) If, in exercising its function under subsection (1) (a) , SOCA becomes aware of conduct appearing to SOCA to involve serious or complex fraud, SOCA may thereafter exercise that function in relation to the fraud in question only—

(a) with the agreement of the Director, or an authorised officer, of the Serious Fraud Office, or
(b) if the Serious Fraud Office declines to act in relation to it.
(4) If, in exercising its function under subsection (1) (a) , SOCA becomes aware of conduct appearing to SOCA to involve revenue fraud, SOCA may thereafter exercise that function in relation to the fraud in question only with the agreement of the Commissioners.

(5) Before exercising its function under subsection (1) (b) in any way in relation to revenue fraud, SOCA must consult the Commissioners.

(6) The issue of whether SOCA's function under subsection (1) (a) continued to be exercisable in any circumstances within subsection (3) or (4) may not be raised in any criminal proceedings.

(7) In this section “revenue fraud” includes fraud relating to taxes, duties and national insurance contributions.

(8) In this Chapter “the Commissioners” means the Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

3 Functions of SOCA as to information relating to crime

(1) SOCA has the function of gathering, storing, analysing and disseminating information relevant to—

(a) the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of offences, or
(b) the reduction of crime in other ways or the mitigation of its consequences.
(2) SOCA may disseminate such information to—

(a) police forces within subsection (3) ,
(b) special police forces,
(c) law enforcement agencies, or
(d) such other persons as it considers appropriate in connection with any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1) (a) or (b).
(3) The police forces within this subsection are—

(a) police forces in the United Kingdom, and
(b) the States of Jersey Police Force, the salaried police force of the Island of Guernsey and the Isle of Man Constabulary.
(4) In this section “law enforcement agency” means—

(a) the Commissioners or any other government department,
(b) the Scottish Administration,
(c) any other person who is charged with the duty of investigating offences or charging offenders, or
(d) any other person who is engaged outside the United Kingdom in the carrying on of activities similar to any carried on by SOCA or a police force.
(5) In this Chapter “special police force” means—

(a) the Ministry of Defence Police,
(b) the British Transport Police Force,
(c) the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, or
(d) the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency.

4 Exercise of functions: general considerations

(1) In exercising its functions SOCA must have regard to the matters mentioned in subsection (2).

(2) The matters are—

(a) SOCA's current annual plan under section 6 together with any priorities determined by SOCA under that section that are specified in the plan,
(b) any current strategic priorities determined by the Secretary of State under section 9, and
(c) any current performance targets established by SOCA.
(3) In exercising any function to which a code of practice under section 10 relates, SOCA must have regard to the code.

General powers (PROSPECTIVE)


5 SOCA's general powers

(1) SOCA has the general powers conferred by this section.

(2) SOCA may—

(a) institute criminal proceedings in England and Wales or Northern Ireland;
(b) at the request of the chief officer of a police force within section 3(3) or of a special police force, act in support of any activities of that force;
(c) at the request of any law enforcement agency, act in support of any activities of that agency;
(d) enter into other arrangements for co-operating with bodies or persons (in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) which it considers appropriate in connection with the exercise of any of SOCA's functions under section 2 or 3 or any activities within subsection (3).
(3) Despite the references to serious organised crime in section 2(1) , SOCA may carry on activities in relation to other crime if they are carried on for the purposes of any of the functions conferred on SOCA by section 2 or 3.

(4) Subsection (3) does not affect the generality of section 3(1).

(5) SOCA may furnish such assistance as it considers appropriate in response to requests made by any government or other body exercising functions of a public nature in any country or territory outside the United Kingdom.

(6) Subsection (5) does not apply to any request for assistance which—

(a) could be made under section 13 of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 (c. 32) (requests by overseas authorities to obtain evidence) , and
(b) is not a request in relation to which SOCA has functions under that section by virtue of an order under section 27(2) of that Act.
(7) In this section “law enforcement agency” has the meaning given by section 3(4).

Annual plans and reports (PROSPECTIVE)


6 Annual plans

(1) Before the beginning of each financial year SOCA must issue a plan setting out how SOCA intends to exercise its functions during that year (“the annual plan”).

(2) The annual plan must (in particular) set out how SOCA intends to exercise its functions in Scotland and in Northern Ireland.

(3) The annual plan must also include a statement of—

(a) any priorities which SOCA has determined for that year,
(b) any current strategic priorities determined by the Secretary of State under section 9,
(c) any current performance targets established by SOCA, and
(d) the financial resources that are expected to be available to SOCA for that year.
(4) Any priorities within subsection (3) (a) may relate—

(a) to matters to which strategic priorities determined under section 9 also relate, or
(b) to other matters,
but in any event must be so framed as to be consistent with strategic priorities determined under that section.
(5) The annual plan must state, in relation to each priority within subsection (3) (a) or (b) , how SOCA intends to give effect to that priority.

(6) SOCA must arrange for the annual plan to be published in such manner as it considers appropriate.

(7) SOCA must send a copy of the annual plan to—

(a) the Secretary of State,
(b) the Scottish Ministers,
(c) the Commissioners,
(d) each police authority for an area in Great Britain, each joint police board and the Northern Ireland Policing Board,
(e) the chief officer of each police force in the United Kingdom, and
(f) such other persons as SOCA considers appropriate.
(8) In subsection (7) (d) the reference to a police authority for an area in Great Britain does not include a constituent authority in an amalgamation scheme approved under section 19(1) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967 (c. 77).

(9) Before issuing its annual plan for any financial year, SOCA must—

(a) consult the Scottish Ministers and agree with them what provision the plan is to make for Scotland by virtue of subsection (2) ; and
(b) consult such other persons as it considers appropriate.

7 Annual reports

(1) As soon as possible after the end of each financial year SOCA must issue a report on the exercise of its functions during that year (an “annual report”).

(2) The annual report must include an assessment of the extent to which the annual plan for that year under section 6 has been carried out.

(3) SOCA must arrange for the annual report to be published in such manner as it considers appropriate.

(4) SOCA must send a copy of the annual report to—

(a) the Secretary of State,
(b) the Scottish Ministers,
(c) the Commissioners,
(d) each police authority for an area in Great Britain, each joint police board and the Northern Ireland Policing Board,
(e) the chief officer of each police force in the United Kingdom, and
(f) such other persons as SOCA considers appropriate.
(5) In subsection (4) (d) the reference to a police authority for an area in Great Britain does not include a constituent authority in an amalgamation scheme approved under section 19(1) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967.

(6) The Secretary of State must lay a copy of the annual report before Parliament.

(7) The Scottish Ministers must lay a copy of the annual report before the Scottish Parliament.

Central supervision and direction