Fraud victims promised ‘vastly improved service’

Fraud victims in Lincolnshire have been promised a ‘vastly improved service’ in 2013 after changes in the way crimes are investigated.

Lincolnshire Police has joined the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s Action Fraud scheme in a bid to revolutionise how fraud and financially motivated internet crime is handled.

The victims of fraud will now be asked to make their reports to Action Fraud rather than local officers, which is hoped to reduce the costs and burden placed on the police force, while enhancing the quality of investigation and preventative action.

Detective Sergeant Ian Jarman of Lincolnshire Police’s economic crime unit said: “Where the victim is reporting a crime in action or is assessed to be vulnerable, we will continue to deal with the report as normal.

“But for all other such reports, the victim will make contact with Action Fraud via the telephone or by logging on to its website.

“Based on the experiences of the pilot forces, it is estimated that the new reporting system will save Lincolnshire officers in excess of 500 hours per year from taking reports from alleged victims.

“It is estimated that only 15 per cent of all information reported actually constitutes a crime requiring investigation and the NFIB will send packages for investigation to the most appropriate authority - SOCA the centre e-crime unit, the Department of Work and Pensions or individual forces.

“Clearly, such a system has the potential to save us hundreds of hours spent filling in reports.

“It provides the public throughout the UK with just one point of reference and will mean that our time is spent conducting actionable investigations and preventing scams, rip-offs and cons in the first place.”

Lincolnshire Police will also receive a monthly report from NFIB detailing the fraud it has been investigating locally and informing officers about national threats and trends.

Posters, leaflets and social media releases have been produced to inform residents about the launch of Action Fraud, which took place yesterday (January 1).