London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime launches new Business Crime Strategy

Posted On 02 Jun 2014
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The London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) has launched a new 48-page Business Crime Strategy designed specifically to help protect London-based companies from acts of criminality. The crime threat in the UK is changing. Criminals are becoming more sophisticated and more crime has moved off the streets to the online space. MOPAC’s Business Crime Strategy” endorsed by the Metropolitan Police Service, the National Crime Agency and the City of London Police” outlines how each provider will build their capability to tackle fraud and economic crimes. This is the first strategy of its kind. It represents a ‘Call to Arms’ for the police, businesses, local authorities and others to work together to build confidence and prevent and cut business crime. More than this, it sets out clear, deliverable plans to achieve end goals, with commitments from MOPAC and law enforcement bodies alongside a challenge to businesses themselves. On the Business Crime Strategy, Stephen Head (Commander and National Police Co-ordinator for Economic Crime at the City of London Police) said:” The threat from fraud, particularly cyber-enabled fraud, continues to grow. Every section of society is now at risk. It’s therefore increasingly important that the police and businesses work even more closely together to counter this threat. The collaborative approach advocated by MOPAC and highlighted in this strategy is absolutely right if we are to be successful in continuing to meet this challenge.” He continued:” As the National Policing Lead for Fraud, the City of London Police will continue to work with MOPAC and others to ensure that London remains one of the safest and most business-friendly cities in the world, with a policing approach that’s fit and appropriate for tackling 21st Century crimes.” Affording context to the Business Crime Strategy Further to this, the following information is designed to give context to the detail included within the Business Crime Strategy. Since taking responsibility for Action Fraud in April this year, the City of London Police has instigated a programme of work to offer an enhanced service for the victims of fraud and cyber crime. Since the end of May 2014, all victims that report to Action Fraud now receive a written update on the status of their report after 28 days, if not before. Action Fraud also provides expert advice and guidance to concerned individuals or businesses. Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), hosted and run by the City of London Police, is funded by Government to receive reports of fraud and cyber crimes from individuals, SMEs and large corporations. It also accepts reports of business fraud outside Action Fraud through a number of organisations, among them the UK Payments Council and CIFAS. The combined Action Fraud and NFIB services do not investigate reported crimes of itself. The NFIB uses cutting-edge technology to automatically identify links between crimes, and in quick time develop and disseminate crime packages for investigation by UK law enforcement agencies. It also proactively disrupts criminality and enriches the UK fraud and cyber threat picture. During the 2013-2014 financial year, of the totality of fraud and cyber crimes reported into the NFIB some 53,556 packages were identified as having viable lines of enquiry and disseminated to UK law enforcement for investigation or intelligence purposes. In the same time period 118,000 additional crimes were targeted for disruption and over 805 alerts were disseminated for prevention purposes. As the MOPAC Business Crime Strategy demonstrates, CIFAS reports on fraud against businesses and these reports often add value to the thousands of Action Fraud packages disseminated for investigation by UK law enforcement. It’s important to note that police forces accept crimes for investigation based on the availability of viable lines of enquiry. In the past, forces have prioritised Action Fraud reports over CIFAS because of the quality of the data. However, the NFIB is working with forces and CIFAS to improve the quality of all data and create more opportunities for UK law enforcement to accept and investigate reports. Informing Government and UK law enforcement Action Fraud and the NFIB use the large number of reported fraud and cyber crimes to help inform Government and UK law enforcement about the scale of the threat that exists at a local, regional and national level in order to help drive their response to the benefit of victims. This has resulted in some police forces committing considerable additional resources to address these emerging threats. For example, the Metropolitan Police Service is adding further capability to accept fraud and cyber crime packages for investigation which will then provide an enhanced service to victims. The City of London Police proactively aims to improve the policing response to fraud and cyber crime and ensure that all business victims receive an efficient and effective service, particularly as reporting continues to increase. For example, the force is creating a system whereby businesses can easily report multiple instances of fraud and cyber crime to Action Fraud. Additionally, the force has a number of fraud teams and specialist units that service business victims of fraud and cyber crime including the insurance industry, the credit and payment industry and intellectual property rights holders.

About the Author
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.