Scottish Government Guidance - Serious Organised Crime
A local authority may use information it holds about landlords or agents to determine whether they are a fit and proper person to act as a landlord, or to act for a landlord. In addition, local authorities may share relevant information they hold about landlords with one another to help those authorities determine whether someone is a fit and proper person to act as a landlord, or to act for a landlord. They may also share and seek relevant information with Police Scotland and, if appropriate, other relevant authorities.
Information is shared in terms of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 and/or the Data Protection Act 1998; the latter for the purposes of preventing and detecting crime. These and other measures help protect communities and let legitimate business thrive while deterring those wishing to engage in criminality and those involved in serious organised crime.
Serious organised crime groups use businesses both as a means of laundering proceeds of previous crimes and to facilitate their continuing criminality. Certain business sectors are particularly appealing due to their ability to serve these purposes, at the expense of vulnerable and law-abiding people. In addition, this practice impacts negatively on legitimate businesses and undermines their commercial competitiveness.
The property rental sector is one such business sector known to be exploited by organised crime and can be used to facilitate criminality – cannabis cultivation, sexual exploitation and accommodating trafficked persons for example. Unregistered landlords and properties rented as unlicensed Houses of Multiple Occupancy can impact not only on tenants but also on landlords and letting agents who are carrying out their business in the lawful manner.
Message from Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice
“Serious organised crime affects us all and we all have a part to play in reducing the harm it causes. My vision is of a Scotland free from serious organised crime: a Scotland where our communities are free from the blight of drug dealing and the fear of violence; where our communities can compete fairly and prosper without having to compete with those who launder money, evade taxes or cut corners; and where the vulnerable are protected from those who would seek to exploit, traffic or cheat them.”
Organised crime...If you see something, say something.
For more information on Scotland’s SOC strategy and associated legislation, visit the following links: