International - Written by on Thursday, October 13, 2016 6:46 - 1 Comment

Deals risk grinding to a halt as cash strapped Police ask for 6 months to act on tips offs under new laws

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Working at police stationUnder draft proposals set out in the Criminal Finance Bill published today Law Enforcement Agencies are to be given six months to act on tip offs provided by banks and members of the public during which time any transaction would be stalled (or most likely killed).

Under present rules Banks, firms and in some cases businesses are obliged to tip off law enforcement if they suspect their customers may be engaging in suspicious transactions.

Under the current regime most tip offs are dealt with in a week.

However if the Police need more time they can have up to an extra month while any transaction is put on hold to take action.

Under proposed new rules it is planned that the Police could be given an extra six months (or 186 days) to look at tip offs while any deal is put on hold.

The proposals affect everyone ranging from someone buying a home up to City Mega deals.

During this so-called moratorium period of six months Banks, firms and others would not be able to take steps in relation to the proposed deal and at the same time they are forbidden to tell their customers why there is a delay.  If they do they commit an offence.

So. For example, you and I might be stopped from buying a house, a business would be stopped from buying a business while we wait for the Police to decide what, if anything, to do.

The rules which already apply for a up to a month  already cause serious tensions as Banks and advisers can be in the position of being required to stall a transaction with an increasingly irate customer seeking an explanation which the Bank or adviser can’t give.

Opinion

This best canadian casino proposed change highlights once again that our cash strapped law enforcement agencies are woefully underfunded to be able to do the job.  Unfortunately the government response is to legislate to give the Police more time, instead of grappling with the real issue: a complete lack of funding.

The victims in this are business and individuals.

Businesses already struggling with BREXIT uncertainty would be faced with six months waits to do a deal while Police work out what to do under the proposals.  They may decide to go elsewhere in Europe to do those deals.

For those without the luxury of going somewhere else, the prospect of having a house purchase delayed for six months while the Police consider a ‘suspicious’ tip off which in most cases will amount to nothing, will probably result in no house purchase at all.

This is an ill thought through proposal at a time when government should doing everything it can to encourage commerce in the UK.

 

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Friday News Flip 14 October 2016 | Arconn Consult
Oct 14, 2016 22:12

[…] UK government is seeking to create new regulations on reporting suspicious transactions. This article points out that giving the police more time to investigate such tip-offs could have the unwanted […]

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