The insurance industry’s fight to detect and disrupt insurance fraud has reached a double milestone following an early morning arrest in Luton. This action marks the 1000th arrest1 made as a result of information and support given to law enforcement by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB). The action also comes just weeks after the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED)” the only police unit in England and Wales funded by the industry and dedicated to tackling insurance fraud” completed its five hundredth arrest2. John O’Roarke, chairman of the insurance industry’s Financial Crime Committee, said:” The IFB and IFED are our response to the menace that is insurance fraud. This criminality impacts on our economy, costs the insurance industry billions of pounds, hits honest policy holders in the pocket and, in some cases, places innocent lives at risk. The message to anyone committing insurance fraud is simple: you will be found out and you will be arrested.” The units attack insurance fraud from different angles but for the same purpose. Where the IFB operates behind the scenes, using its access to significant volumes of data to identify organised cross-industry fraudulent activity, the IFED is at the ‘sharp end’, investigating insurance fraud, disrupting criminal activity and arresting suspects. The units routinely work together with industry and other law enforcement agencies in a co-ordinated show of force. Identification of organised frauds Ben Fletcher, director of the IFB, explained:” Our focus is on using our unique range of data to identify organised frauds which are not visible to individual insurers. That’s what really makes the 1,000 arrests significant. We believe these people are not opportunists, but are actively involved in organised scams raking in millions of pounds.” Fletcher added:” The notion of insurance fraud as a ‘victimless crime’ is on the wane, in part thanks to the IFED’s enforcement and disruption activity on the front line.” Steve Head (pictured)” City of London Police Commander and the Police National Co-ordinator for Economic Crime” explained:” This level of enforcement activity demonstrates that the IFED is delivering on its primary purpose of working with industry to bring fraudsters to justice and disrupt their criminal enterprises.” He continued:” Every arrest the IFED team makes actively stops a suspected insurance fraudster in their tracks and, just as importantly, when the news of this appears in national and local newspapers, on television or on social media, it makes others who have previously thought insurance fraud is an easy touch or a criminal action with no consequences to think again.” Detective Inspector David Hindmarsh from the Metropolitan Police Service, whose team made the 1000th arrest, said:” Operation Catcher is a small and specialised team of detectives dedicated to investigating organised criminal gangs who cause collisions with innocent road users for the sole purpose of committing fraud. This latest arrest is linked to an organised criminal gang we have now been investigating for over a year, and is just one of many joint IFB operations we are currently undertaking. Members of the public should be aware that this is not a victimless crime and anyone becoming involved in fraud risks being arrested, prosecuted and ultimately receiving a criminal record.” Industry recently extended and increased its investment in IFED, committing
Insurance fraudsters feel the heat as IFB and IFED reach double arrest milestone
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.