HC Deb 16 April 2002 vol 383 cc870-1W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of whether the PSA target to increase by one third the amount of assets identified from drug traffickers and secured will be met by March. [47226]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

[holding answer 10 April 2002]: The Public Service Agreement (PSA) target was to increase the amount of assets identified from drug traffickers and secured by one third over a three-year period. The target is measured in terms of receipts from the enforcement of confiscation orders in drug trafficking cases. The baseline was receipts of £9.5 million during the 1997–98 financial year. The milestone objectives that were set were receipts of £10.4 million in year one (1998–99), £11.5 million in year two (1999–2000) and £12.6 million in year three (2000–01).

The outcomes for years one and two were £10.5 million in 1998–99 and £9.3 million for 1999–2000. The outcome for 2000–01 was £11.75 million, a little short of the PSA target but still representing the largest annual return to date.

The Government have since set a new target of doubling the amounts recovered from both drug traffickers and other serious criminals, from the £29.4 million recovered in 1999–2000 in confiscation receipts and cash forfeited under the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 to £60 million by 2004–05. This is to be achieved through changes in law and practice which the Government are seeking to bring about through the Proceeds of Crime Bill and the related initiatives published in the Asset Recovery Strategy.