Fraud Review: nowhere to hide

The Fraud Review, which was commissioned by the attorney general and the
chief secretary to the treasury in 2005, sought to identify and quantify the
harm that fraud was doing to the UK economy and develop a constructive programme
to fight it through public/private sector initiatives at a national level.

It recommended the formation of a national fraud strategic authority
incorporating a fraud loss measurement unit and a national fraud reporting and
intelligence centre and a national lead (police) force. These would draw
together the resources already being deployed to challenge fraud and reinforce,
strengthen and coordinate them at a national rather than local level.

The government has allocated £29m to kick-start a national anti-fraud
strategy and build the basic architecture to tackle the £14bn-a-year blight on
society and business alike. It is hoped that the private sector will also commit
resources to match those of government.

The national strategy will provide the leadership and national coordination
necessary to make anti-fraud efforts as effective and efficient as possible. It
will provide a managed programme that attacks fraud at every point from
deterrence to prevention, detection, investigation, sanctions and providing
redress for victims.

Its ultimate benefits include:

  • Better protection for consumers and businesses against fraud;
  • A better service to victims, both individual and corporate;
  • Effective and informed prevention and deterrence;
  • Improved understanding of fraud methodologies and typologies, enabling more
    accurate and informed risk assessment;
  • Improved intelligence, better measurement of the impact of fraud and of the
    effectiveness of counter-measures;
  • The improving potential to develop effective anticipatory fraud systems;
  • Greater effectiveness of the criminal justice system in investigating,
    prosecuting and otherwise dealing with perpetrators.

Given the government’s willingness to support this initiative and the support
of the business community and the police, the attorney general’s programme board
is drawing together all the strands of work jointly being carried out. The
programme board and its supporting working groups include representatives from
all interested parties
to draw up and implement the national strategy.

Baroness Scotland is Attorney General

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