The National Crime Agency (NCA)
The National Crime Agency (NCA), which became operational in October 2013, is an independent government agency and is not part of HMRC. The NCA's immediate predecessor was the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) which had been established on 1 April 2006 under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCPA). Arrangements in Scotland differed, where a Civil Recovery Unit, accountable to the Lord Advocate, performed the equivalent of criminal confiscation and civil recovery. The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA, predecessor to SOCA) maintained its remit in Scotland to operate the taxation function of criminals by serving notice on HMRC.
The NCA's remit is to use criminal confiscation, civil recovery and taxation functions to recover money and assets that have come from criminal activity, thus depriving criminals of the proceeds of their crime. The agency's remit extends throughout the United Kingdom, but with special arrangements in place in recognition of the devolution settlement in Scotland and the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland.
A code of practice (made pursuant to POCA 2002, s 377) is available on GOV.UK1. The code of practice must be complied with by the staff of the NCA, accredited financial investigators, constables and officers of HMRC in the exercise of any of their functions under POCA 2002, ss 343–379.