Police given powers to seize betting slips and jewellery from criminals

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Officers will now be able to seize betting slips, casino chips, gaming vouchers, jewellery, watches and stamps

Police fighting organised crime will be able to seize betting slips, casino chips, jewellery and precious stones from criminals under new powers.

The measures, which comes into force from Monday, are part of changes to the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

Scotland's justice secretary said it would help ensure people do not profit from a life of crime.

Officers will be able to search for items if they suspect illegal activity.

Under the new provisions in the legislation, betting slips, casino chips and gaming vouchers, as well as jewellery, watches and stamps, can be seized as if they were cash assets.

Michael Matheson said more than £6m was recovered by the Crown Office and the Civil Recovery Unit in 2017/18.

He added: "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.

"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."

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