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Commissioner calls for country-wide effort to tackle fraud ‘postcode lottery’ following national report

2 April, 2019

Clive Grunshaw, national Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) lead for Fraud and Cyber Crime, has supported calls for more consistency in the way that police forces tackle fraud, and called for the Government to invest funds to not only help officers hunt down those responsible but also focus more on preventing crimes taking place.

Carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, inspectors visited eleven forces across the country, finding that the approach is ‘disjointed and disparate’ in the ‘absence’ of a national strategy.

The report also found that good practice is ‘not structured’ in the way it is shared and forces were focused on a reactively driven approach with ‘little evidence of intelligence-led prevention’.

The inspection was established to better understand the current approach to tackling fraud and what could be improved, with the Commissioner involved in the process as part of his national role.

This comes as the scale of the problem grows, with figures earlier this year indicating more than half-a-billion pounds was stolen from customers of British banks in the first half of 2018 alone.

He said:

“We know the impact that being a victim of fraud can have, both emotionally as well as financially, and this report highlights that a much more joined up approach is needed to best tackle what is an evolving threat.

“Crime is increasingly moving online and fraud is no different – around half of all crimes now have an online element, which highlights the evolving nature of the threat officers are faced with.

“A national effort is required, involving police forces, partner agencies and Government to ensure that good practice is shared and built upon whilst avoiding the ‘postcode lottery’ we currently have, alongside prevention, which must become a key priority so those who are vulnerable do not become victims.

“More strategic working must however also be supported by funding from Government to make sure officers stay ahead of the criminals and keep people safe.”

The report from HMICFRS can be found here.

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