On 7 June 2021, there was published on the legislation.gov.uk website The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (References to Financial Investigators) (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) Order 2021 together with an explanatory memorandum.
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (2002 Act) provides for a system of accreditation for financial investigators, who are known as ‘accredited financial investigators’. The 2002 Act makes reference to accredited financial investigators throughout. The main purpose of doing so is to allow, in certain circumstances, accredited financial investigators to discharge powers or other functions which are granted to law enforcement officers (such as, for example, police constables or Serious Fraud Office officers). Section 453 of the 2002 Act allows the Secretary of State to provide that references in specific provisions of the 2002 Act to accredited financial investigators are to be read as references to accredited financial investigators of particular descriptions set out by order. This latest Order, which comes into force on 28 June 2021, exercises that power.