Police response to fraud

Part of: Large-scale policing Protecting people online Victims and resolutions

Fraud is a unique type of crime. There is more of it than there is of other crimes, it is often complex and it has no respect for jurisdictional boundaries. Victims and offenders are often remote from one another, as are the agencies that tackle fraud. Unlike other crimes, there is a national process for reporting fraud and deciding which cases will be investigated.

A lot of changes have been made over many years to improve structures and processes, particularly at the national level. But it remains the case that, outside those organisations that have a specific national-level responsibility for fraud, it is rarely seen as a priority. This is understandable, given the many competing priorities that police and law enforcement agencies need to cope with. Nonetheless, people are more likely to be victims of fraud than any other crime.

In 2018, the Home Secretary commissioned HMICFRS to carry out an inspection of the police response to fraud. HMICFRS inspected the effectiveness and efficiency of the police response to fraud, including online fraud.

Fraud: Time to choose

This inspection, Fraud: Time to choose, took place between March and July 2018 and looked to assess whether:

  • law enforcement has a well-designed strategy for tackling fraud;
  • organisational structures provide the necessary capacity, capabilities and partnerships; and
  • victims of fraud receive a high-quality response.

A review of Fraud: Time to choose

Two years later we revisited our previous inspection to see how the police service has responded to the 16 recommendations and 5 areas for improvement we made. This report, A review of Fraud: Time to choose, was published on 5 August 2021.