Serious Crime Prevention Orders (SCPOs) under Part 1 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 are civil orders intended to prevent, restrict or disrupt involvement in serious crime. As Richard Alderman (fomer director of the SFO) explained in a speech he gave on 26 February 2009: “[SCPOs] enable prosecutors to obtain court orders regulating the future conduct of those who have been engaged in serious crime. SCPOs can be obtained before or after a conviction. The conditions that can attach to such orders are almost limitless. A company might, for example, be asked to submit its trading accounts for scrutiny every six months. I am very interested in these orders. An SCPO obtained from the High Court quickly without prosecution is a very important weapon for us.”
On 20 March 2009, the SFO obtained its first SCPO in a prosecution against Haroon Khatab, for his involvement in a boiler room fraud. The order severely restricted Mr Khatab’s ability to become involved in investment and financial management. For example, it prevents him from directly or indirectly offering to sell shares, investment opportunities or financial products of any kind for a four-year period.