‘Does Met care about fraud?’

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The new special constable post had been designed to allow accountants to assume police officer duties. Instead of pounding the pavements they will be involved in complex fraud investigations, including dawn raids and interviewing suspects.

The initiative was suggested to the Met by ICAEW council member and Business Exchange executive chairman Douglas Llambias. ‘The scheme was designed to allow accountants to be frontline officers with the authority and power to execute search warrants and conduct interviews,’ he said.

But this week Llambias questioned the Met’s commitment to getting the project up-and-running as it had failed to publicise an open day for volunteers, expected next week, yet found time to criticise accountants for failing to target money laundering. ‘The police don’t seem to be approaching this with the degree of enthusiasm that we would expect,’ he said. ‘They say they haven’t got the resources for this sort of work yet 12 months ago we gave them an idea for how to create that additional resource.

‘But while they could not organise a press conference to announce they were seeking volunteers, they could organise one criticising accountants for failing to support anti-money laundering initiatives.’

A spokeswoman for the Met was unable to comment.

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