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HomePolicing400 new specialist investigators to form new National Fraud Squad

400 new specialist investigators to form new National Fraud Squad

A new National Fraud Squad (NFS) will be created comprising 400 new specialist investigators to stop scammers at the source using an “intelligence-led” approach.

The NFS already has 300 new and existing investigators in post – a further 100 will be in post by January 2024, and another 100 by 2025.

Investigators will sit across the National Crime Agency (NCA), City of London and the ROCUs and will aim at taking a proactive approach to shutting down fraud cells but will cover proactive, intelligence-led and reactive investigations.

It contrasts to the current fraud approaches which are based on acting reactively to victim reporting.

The new fraud strategy states: “Alongside a new fraud targeting cell in the NCA, every ROCU will have a dedicated fraud investigations team.

“CoLP, as the national lead police force for fraud, will increase its view across wider policing’s activity on fraud, disseminating intelligence, promoting best practice and holding forces to account for delivery.”

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think-tank has welcomed the new strategy and the proposed uplift, but they have clarified that the provision of 400 new officers would not lift the resource allocation above the current 1% of police resources dedicated to fraud.

Fraud is now the most common crime in the UK – with one in 15 falling victim to it, it costs almost £7bn per year.

A new component of the NFS will be the Multi-Agency Fraud Targeting Cell.

“The cell will draw on all source data to improve the system-wide understanding of the threat and produce high quality intelligence packages,” the NCA explained.

“As a result, collective resources will be directed to where they will have the greatest impact.”

The NFS is one of a number of measures announced in the newly released Fraud Strategy.

Other measures include banning cold calls on all financial products, such as types of insurance or sham crypto-currency schemes, and working with Ofcom on new technology to tackle number “spoofing” – preventing the impersonation of legitimate UK phone numbers.

Graeme Biggar, Director of the NCA, said: “The NCA welcomes the new Fraud Strategy and our role in the National Fraud Squad.

“Through the National Economic Crime Centre, we will drive a proactive intelligence-led response, holding fraudsters to account and protecting the public from criminals who operate increasingly online and overseas.”

The first global fraud summit is due to be hosted in the UK while the former CEO of the British Banking Association, Anthony Brown MP, has been appointed as a new Anti-Fraud Champion.

(Source: Police Oracle)

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