It's a fair Cop! Or is it?
It just so happens that I know fraud doesn’t come top of the "most popular crime" list as far the police are concerned- under resourced forces are quite rightly focusing on drug related crime, gang warfare on our streets, terrorism etc, but things appear to be getting to a right old silly state nowadays!
A few weeks ago, an experienced credit manager at an electrical goods distributor in London spotted a credit card fraudster in the process of trying to take thousands of pounds worth of goods from his company. He continued to take orders to set up a "sting", and informed the police as to which address the goods would be delivered and at what time so that the men in blue could catch the criminals red handed. To the credit manager’s surprise, the Metropolitan Police declined the offer, stating they had to concentrate on other crimes.
Putting aside the fact that a lot of credit card fraud fuels the drugs problem in this country, I believe the police should have been a little more interested in catching this thief in the middle of his crime. One, it sends the right message to the criminal fraternity that you can get caught for fraud, at a time when the message is getting around that the police are turning a blind eye. Second, it sends the right message to a hard working credit manager, and indirectly to all his colleagues and friends and family, that the police do not allow people to get away scot free with thousands of pounds of stolen money. Think of the effect on the morale in society if it was generally known criminals can go about their work without the risk of being caught?
I put the blame for this police attitude on the new Fraud Act which came into effect in April this year. Under the Act, bank fraud victims have to report suspicious activity to their banks rather than engage the police. The bank will then decide to inform the police or not, which means that some cases will never get recorded as crime.
Still, that’s one good thing then- government crime statistics will be down and that should reassure the public.