The following Risk & Compliance practice note produced in partnership with Michael Potts of PCB Byrne provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The UK Government has legislated to permit a number of UK authorities to obtain search warrants to 'raid' a business premises.
The potential for a dawn raid to be executed against a company is an everyday reality for many businesses given the increasing criminalisation of business practices, more regulatory criminal offences and the proliferation of money laundering laws and regulations. The prospect of an intervention by the UK authorities has increased since the introduction of the Bribery Act 2010 and the new corporate offence of failure to prevent bribery. This offence is mirrored by a corporate offence of failure to prevent tax evasion under the Criminal Finances Act 2017. The government is considering whether to introduce a corporate offence of a failure to prevent economic crime and money laundering.
A dawn raid is an unexpected visit by the police and/or investigators from another prosecution body to search premises when they suspect the business or an individual has been involved in criminal activity. Investigators typically arrive unannounced first thing in the morning (hence 'dawn' raids) and are always meant to be unexpected to ensure that evidence is best preserved for the search. Investigators often take an aggressive approach which calls for the organisation to respond quickly and effectively to ensure they comply with their obligations
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