Next week marks International Fraud Awareness Week – so let’s talk about how we are tackling it, writes Chris Hayward.
Fraud and cyber-crime can affect anyone – any family, any business, and any organisation.
It is a significant risk to national security, and a huge drain on the UK economy, with an estimated £4.7 billion in economic and social costs to victims in England and Wales alone.
It is an underreported crime and affects more people, more often, than any other, accounting for around 40% of all offences, and over six million incidents a year.
The threat is now widely recognised, and in response, Government has increased investment through its recent fraud strategy with the recruitment of over 400 new fraud investigators.
The Online Safety Act has been given royal assent, and this is a huge step forward in making the social media sector accountable for protecting its users and ensuring a duty of care for firms to prevent the use of their platforms by scammers. This Act must now be implemented as a priority.
And on your doorstep, the City of London Police is playing a leading role in the fightback.
They are the specialist National Lead Force for fraud and the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for economic and cybercrime.
Their officers work hard to protect you, by coordinating and supporting national, regional, and local police resources to tackle fraud across England and Wales.
It runs Action Fraud, the national reporting service which takes reports from victims of fraud. The reports are then sent to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, also run by the City of London Police, which analyses them, and disseminates cases to regional forces for consideration for investigation and victim care.
We are lucky to have a dedicated City police service. And here at the City of London Corporation, we are supporting them in several ways.
Each year we provide £3.2 million to bolster their role in tackling fraud. We are investing £350m in a new City court complex, dedicated to economic and cybercrime cases.
And by being at the heart of the financial sector we use our convening powers to bring security agencies and industry together.
Your local elected Members form the City of London Police Authority Board, which is responsible for supporting and scrutinising the force, holding its Commissioner to account, and setting policing priorities considering your views.
City of London Police officers are working round the clock to protect people, for the benefit of all our communities, including City residents, workers, and visitors.
Our collective goal is to make sure the Square Mile is a safe and secure place in which to live, work, and visit, with a focus on addressing violence against women and girls, keeping the City’s nighttime economy safe, and combatting anti-social behaviour.
We want the City of London Police to be the most inclusive police service in the country, and together, we are focused on strengthening connections with communities in the City to continue building trust and confidence, which is vital to effective policing.
Chris Hayward is Policy Chairman at the City Corporation of London.