Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting KS NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
West Mercia Police to crack down on fraud
WEST Mercia Police has joined a national scheme aimed at helping tackle the growing problem of fraud, including internet related scams.
The force has signed up to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, which acts as a central point of contact for all information about fraud and financially-motivated internet crime.
Individual police forces will continue to take reports of serious fraud and deal with cases where a crime is in action or the victim is particularly vulnerable.
Across the country, the National Fraud Authority estimates the loss to the UK economy from fraud is £73 billion.
In 2011/12, 2,715 fraud and forgery offences were recorded in West Mercia - Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin - a rise of seven per cent on the previous year but officers believe offences may have been under reported.
Det Insp Mark Glazzard, who leads the force’s economic crime unit, said: “We are seeing growth in all sorts of fraud, from fairly basic, unsophisticated scams such as bogus websites to highly organised criminal gangs targeting vulnerable people.
“However, we believe we only see the tip of the iceberg and a lot of fraud goes unreported - something we hope may change with the launch of Action Fraud.
“As well as looking for potential investigative leads, Action Fraud will act as a central intelligence unit, pulling together all reports of fraud aimed at identifying and disrupting organised crime teams.”
From now, instead of local officers taking crime reports of fraud themselves, they will redirect victims to Action Fraud where staff will take details - where a crime has taken place, the victim will be given a national crime number.
DI Glazzard said he believed fraud victims would be provided with an enhanced service.
“It will provide victims with a single point of reference and will mean our time can be spent much more productively,” he added.