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HMICFRS: A review of ‘Fraud: Time to choose’

Response from: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Hampshire

 

Taking the opportunity to reflect upon actions and recommendations is very much welcomed, especially in an area that impacts so many. Recognising that fraud is estimated to be the type of crime that has the highest number of incidents committed in England and Wales’ and that ‘Adults are still more likely to be a victim of fraud than any other crime just highlights the scale of the issue and reaffirms that there is more that needs to be done.

As a newly appointed Police and Crime Commissioner I have highlighted in my Police and Crime Plan the need to focus on fraud and scams, both for individuals and businesses. The economic cost is in the millions and the negative impact upon victims and their families can be life changing.

The HIMCFRS report highlights that 10 of the 16 recommendations have been implemented, identifying some improvements, but challenging forces and national bodies on doing more to support victims, both from a reporting and investigatory process to supporting victims. Those perpetrating fraud and scams do not discriminate, anyone can be targeted, and anyone can be a victim. With perpetrators utilising a number of methods to commit fraud, the complexities in investigating frauds should not be a barrier to tackling such crimes.

Here in Hampshire the Constabulary have a team of dedicated officers operating across both fraud and cyber threats, who are responsible for safeguarding and providing advice to the most vulnerable victims within Hampshire. In speaking with the force I know they are working to improve processes and procedures when providing investigative updates to victims. This work is balanced across a range of demands, risk and threats across the varying incidents of fraud and cyber-crime we investigate each year.

There is always more that can be done in the fight against fraud, as joint APCC Victims Lead I will be scrutinising the force on how they support victims ensuring the Victims Code is followed; keeping victims informed of investigations while working to ensure they are kept safe.

 

Donna Jones
Police and Crime Commissioner

 

Recommendations

HMICFRS:

By 30 September 2021, chief constables should make sure that their forces are following the guidance issued by the National Police Chiefs’ Council Coordinator for Economic Crime about fraud related calls for service.

OPCC response:

I will raise this with my Chief Constable to ensure the appropriate guidance is followed for Economic Crime about fraud related calls for service.

 

HMICFRS:

By 31 October 2021, chief constables should adopt the guidance issued in September 2019 by the National Police Chiefs’ Council Coordinator for Economic Crime that was aimed at improving the information given to victims when reporting fraud.

OPCC response:

I will raise this with my Chief Constable to ensure the appropriate guidance is followed, that was issued in September 2019 by the National Police Chiefs’ Council Coordinator for Economic Crime that was aimed at improving the information given to victims when reporting fraud.

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