Monday, December 3, 2012
Action Fraud will unmask criminal networks nationwide.
The way in which fraud is reported and investigated is changing from today (Monday) - so intelligence gathered from across the country can unmask criminal networks.
Victims of fraud and internet crime should now contact Action Fraud instead of the police.
This can be done by either calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online via www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Non-emergency police call handlers, who receive reports of fraud, will direct callers to contact Action Fraud.
There are circumstances in which the police should still be called and will respond:
If the victim is in immediate danger
If there is a chance that the suspect could be caught at that time or there is a known local suspect.
If the victim is vulnerable or at risk, officers will assist victims in reporting their crime to Action Fraud.
Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud reporting centre and is run by the National Fraud Authority.
It has been set up to act as a one-stop reporting centre for all information about fraud and financially motivated crime.
Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person.
This new way of working means all fraud reports are recorded securely and effectively analysed to help police tackle fraud nationally.
This centralised intelligence will enable seemingly unrelated incidents from around the country to be linked through analysis, helping identify networks of criminals.
Once the information has been analysed and linked, The National Fraud Investigation Bureau will allocate crimes to the best placed police force in the country to investigate it.
Up until now, individual police forces have had responsibility for investigating incidents of fraud as they are reported but this can lead to a less consistent and professional approach.
Action Fraud will provide victims with a national crime reference number so they can obtain updates on their crime.
Victims who require it will be referred to Victim Support.
The system has been piloted with five forces and is now being rolled out to all forces in England and Wales.
Detective Inspector Dave Dale, from the Serious Organised Crime Investigation Team, said: “This system will enable victims of fraud to speak to an expert at the Action Fraud call centre straight away and receive a more consistent service.
“Moving to a national approach is a more efficient way for the police to deal with the ever-increasing incidents of fraud.
“Fraud, by its nature, has no geographical boundaries. A person committing online fraud in Devon and Cornwall could have victims scattered all over the UK or even the world.
“It will enable us to focus our attention and expertise on a concentrated number of crimes that we are in the best position to deal with, rather than the volumes of crimes we have been receiving.”