Action Fraud the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, which is now part of the City of London Police, celebrated its fifth birthday this week.
Since launching in October 2009 Action Fraud has established itself as the place to go for victims of fraud across England and Wales to make an official crime report. The service also provides advice on how to find out how to access the professional support victims need to recover from what can be a deeply damaging and traumatic experience.
Fraud, cyber-enabled fraud and cyber-dependent fraud reporting significantly increased in 2012/13 when police forces starting directing all victims to Action Fraud’s national contact centre and online reporting portal. In 2013/14 more than 210,000 victims of fraud – individuals and SMEs – reported in this way, marking a 17 percent increase on the previous year.
All of the reports to Action Fraud are passed directly to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), based within the City of London Police, where they’re analysed and used as the basis of crime reports disseminated to local forces, public and private sector fraud alerts, and recommendations for disruption and to inform the wider intelligence picture.
Since moving to the City of London Police, which is the National Policing Lead for Fraud, in April of this year the Action Fraud team has, in particular, focused on victim support. The service now sends letters to everyone who makes a report providing an update on how the information they have provided is being used by the NFIB.
A second contact centre was opened earlier this year which has allowed for even more reports of fraud and cyber crime to be taken.
Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said:“Action Fraud has come a long way in five years and is now established as the first port-of-call for victims of fraud to make a report and to access professional support. We also recognise there is a lot of work for us still to do in raising our profile across all demographics of people living in the UK and explaining how important it is for them to contact us if they have fallen victim to a fraud, cyber-enabled fraud or a cyber-dependent fraud.
“The effects of these crimes can be devastating and Action Fraud, working closely with our law enforcement agents and public and private sector partners, is determined to harness all available resources to prevent people and businesses falling victim in the future.”
The Action Fraud anniversary this week coincided with a visit by Shadow Home Office Ministers Jack Dromey MP and Steve Reed MP.