Tackling and preventing fraud
‘Tackle and prevent fraud’ is one of the priorities in the Police, Crime and Victims' Plan. He wants to achieve this, and for people across County Durham and Darlington to have confidence that their concerns are both understood and taken seriously by the police.
In 2018, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services carried out a nationwide inspection of the effectiveness and efficiency of the police response to fraud, including online fraud.
A full copy of the inspection report can be found here:
The report – Fraud: Time to Choose - identifies a number of issues relating to the organisational structures that support fraud investigations at local and national levels, and correctly suggests that greater clarity of roles and responsibilities is needed. Good practice is regularly shared between forces on a number of topics, and this is encouraged and endorsed in the inspection report. In Durham, the force are due to have fraud investigation processes peer-reviewed by City of London Police, the acknowledged experts in this area. The report’s focus on victims is also important, and it reflects the need to provide clear advice and support to victims of fraud.
These are Ron’s responses to the recommendations with implications for Durham Constabulary:
Recommendation - By 31 March 2020, the National Police Chiefs' Council Coordinator for Economic Crime, and chief constables, should ensure that all forces have processes in place to accurately and efficiently report fraud outcomes to the National Intelligence Bureau.
The Constabulary will be asking City of London Police to peer-review these processes so that the force can put in place and revisions to existing procedures by 31 March 2020.
Recommendation – By 30 September 2019, chief constables should publish their force’s policy for responding to and investigating allegations of fraud (in relation to both calls for services and National Fraud Intelligence Bureau disseminations for enforcement).
This is also an area where Durham Constabulary will be asking City of London Police to consider during the peer review. Afterwards, the force will be in a position to publish new guidance for Officers on responding to and investigating allegations of fraud.