Blunkett: Our failure to seize criminals' millions

David Blunkett

David Blunkett has admitted that the Government has failed to recover hundreds of millions of pounds made through criminal activity

The Government has failed to seize hundreds of millions of pounds of the proceeds of crime while convicted criminals live in luxury, David Blunkett has admitted.

The former Home Secretary told the BBC Panorama programme, to be shown on Monday night, that the laws he helped to create had ‘failed’.

He said agencies are recovering at least £350million a year less than expected under the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act, with £137million seized last year.

Mr Blunkett said: ‘Between £500million and £800million a year would have been a reasonable target to have reached.’

The programme found convicted criminals were stringing out appeals, sometimes using legal aid, and that recovery costs could be higher than the money clawed back.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: ‘We are determined to stop criminals profiting from their crimes.

‘The public is sick and tired of seeing them lead lavish lifestyles.’

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