Asset confiscation is a tool that Victoria's law enforcement and public prosecution agencies use in response to criminal activity. It enables the state to confiscate property to deprive people of the proceeds of certain offences, to disrupt further criminal activity by preventing the use of that property, and to deter others from engaging in criminal activity.
The Asset Confiscation Scheme is not operating as effectively or efficiently as it should, as it is hampered by weaknesses in the way that assets are identified for confiscation, and how the Scheme is governed.
Victoria Police is not maximising opportunities to identify assets for confiscation related to profit-motivated serious and organised crime. Its asset confiscation functions are undermined by a failure to make the most of its investigative tools, a lack of effective planning, capacity and capability weaknesses, and a limited focus on profit-motivated crime.
The other Scheme agencies—the Office of Public Prosecutions and the Department of Justice—are generally performing their core asset confiscation functions effectively and efficiently.
However, significant governance weaknesses of the Scheme as a whole limit the ability of the agencies to work together effectively to implement the government's policy objectives.