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Publication of Fraud and the Justice System – update from Mike Haley, Cifas CEO

18 October 2022

Today the Justice Committee has published its Fourth Report of Session 2022-23, ‘Fraud and the Justice System’, and I am delighted that many of the recommendations I made to the Committee on behalf of Cifas and our members have been implemented.

The fraud prevention community is currently facing a fresh set of challenges brought about by the cost-of-living crisis and economic recession. These factors are providing criminals with new opportunities to target the public in order to steal money and information.

The Committee was told that the level of policing is woefully inadequate if it is to deal effectively with the evolving nature of fraud, with only 2% of police funding dedicated to combatting fraud - despite it accounting for 40% of reported crime.

I recommended that a positive step forward would be to make fraud a Strategic Policing Requirement, meaning that forces would be responsible for directing sufficient resources to investigate these crimes – a view which was echoed by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. As a result, the Committee has made this recommendation and and also stated that performance data should be collected, monitored, and published at both local and regional levels – as is the case for other crime types - to ensure law enforcement bodies are held accountable for their progress in tackling fraud.

Cifas and our members understand the important role that cross-sector data sharing plays in the prevention, detection and disruption of fraud. Last year our members recorded a case to the National Fraud Database every 90 seconds, which helped to save over £1.3bn through prevented fraud losses.

Seeing the real positives of data-sharing first hand, I recommended to the Committee that law enforcement could make huge gains in disrupting and preventing fraud through sharing intelligence, typologies, and data with industry, to empower organisations to tackle enablers and increase their defences. There are also opportunities being missed for reciprocal data sharing between Government departments and the private sector.

The Committee has recommended that the Government should bring forward proposals to ensure confidence in data sharing for fraud prevention purposes. They have also called for an update on the review of legislation related to data sharing through a Specified Anti-Fraud Organisation (SAFO), such as Cifas, which is a key gateway for public-private data sharing.

Finally, the devastating impact of fraud on individuals cannot be underestimated, and we increasingly hear the catastrophic and life-changing consequences that fraud has on victims. Victim Support identified that the financial cost of fraud can vary widely from individuals losing less than £100 to losing amounts so severe that they became bankrupt, homeless or had to return to work after retiring. On top of this is the psychological impact on individuals which, in some cases, can lead to people taking their own lives.

I explained to the Committee that although I recognise that there is some good practice in supporting victims of fraud when reporting a crime, it is generally patchy and inconsistent. I recommended the introduction of a national standard for victim care, which would clearly set out the services to which a victim should be entitled – regardless of what part of the country they are in. In response to this, the Committee has backed a victim-focussed approach to fraud, and the establishment of that minimum standard of care, which every victim can expect to receive when reporting a crime.

I am pleased to have represented the views of Cifas and our members who have a first-hand understanding of the size of the fraud epidemic we are currently facing, as well as in-depth experience of tackling fraud and financial crime. I welcome today’s findings and hope that this helps to keep the issue of fraud firmly on the Government’s radar.

Posted by: Mike Haley

Mike is Chief Executive of Cifas.


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Posted by: Mike Haley

Mike is Chief Executive of Cifas.