Fighting fraud in Northern Ireland
Our manifesto proposals for the next Northern Irish Government.
Prevention and victims proposals
- The Northern Irish Government should support a coordinated industry and Government led education and awareness campaign on fraud; and for the Northern Irish Government to work with industry and law enforcement to create a universal advice pack that can be sent to victims of scams and fraud. This pack should be designed to be used by Government, charities and businesses.
- Online identity protection should be taught to pupils from the age of 7 (Year 4) in Computing, PSHE and Financial Education classes – this education should have some basic focus on identity theft.
- Financial Education in Northern Irish Secondary schools should be expanded to include a focus on fraud – what fraud is, how to protect yourself from falling victim, to recognise when you are committing fraud, and the impact fraud can have on both individuals and wider society.
- Online identity protection, with a focus on identity theft, should be taught in Computing, PSHE and Financial Education classes in Northern Irish Secondary Schools.
- As part of their safeguarding policies Northern Irish Secondary Schools should include teaching students about the risks of becoming a victim or committing fraud.
- The Northern Irish Education system should provide guidance to parents about how they can help protect their child’s identity online. This should be provided in packs to parents at Primary schools when their child reaches Year 4 and when their child starts at Secondary school.
Universities and colleges
- Universities and colleges should be encouraged to work with fraud prevention agencies and other partners to provide students with fraud prevention and online identity protection advice.
- The Northern Irish Government and its relevant agencies should provide small businesses with advice on how they can protect themselves from fraud; particularly when a business is starting up.
- The Northern Irish Government should encourage businesses to share their data on fraud across different sectors to help prevent further fraud.
- The Police Service of Northern Ireland should make tackling fraud and cyber-crime a priority area.
- The Police Service of Northern Ireland should ensure local commanders are regularly sent data from Action Fraud and National Fraud Intelligence Bureau on the latest frauds and scams happening in their area including details of victims.
- The Police Service of Northern Ireland should focus its efforts on tackling organised fraud rings, particularly those they suspect are using the proceeds from their scams and frauds to commit and fund other crime, and prolific fraud rings that are targeting vulnerable people.
- The Police Service of Northern Ireland should ensure that all new officers have more detailed information on fraud and scams in their initial police training.
- The Police Service of Northern Ireland should use their cadet units to raise awareness of fraud and cyber-crime amongst young people.
- The Police Service of Northern Ireland should look to create a unit of Special Constables focussed on fraud. The recruitment should encourage recently retired officers, fraud prevention professionals and academics that have a specialism in fraud and cyber-crime to join this unit. These special constables should focus on talking to SMEs in their local areas about fraud, any latest scams or frauds local companies are spotting and offer prevention tips. Through doing this, the Police should be able to spot local trends and pick up unreported fraud and cyber-crime.
Vulnerable people proposals
- The Northern Irish Government should work with the Home Office Fraud Taskforce Victims and Vulnerable People Strand to start to identify groups who may be vulnerable to scams and fraud. Once these groups have been identified, tailored advice and support should be given.
- The Northern Irish Government should encourage District Councils to protect their vulnerable people by signing up to Cifas Protecting the Vulnerable scheme.
Judicial process proposals
- The Northern Irish Government should do a wholesale review of the sentencing guidelines and judicial process for fraud and scam cases. This should include looking at how more fraud cases can make it through the judicial system; by looking at what support the Public Prosecution Service needs to bring forward more fraud cases and looking at how jurors and judges can be better supported to understand complex fraud and scam cases.