Submission to the Digital Fraud Act committee, April 2022

22 April, 2022 | 1 minute read

There is now a very widespread sense that economic crime enforcement is not working and is not even close to tackling the scale of the problem. Too often over the past two decades fraud has not been prioritised as a policing priority either at national or local level. Part of this lack of prioritisation is due to the fact that fraud is misconstrued as a “low harm” crime. As one police officer stated to the HMICFRS, “fraud does not bang, bleed or shout.”

In our view, over the past 5 years the government has not been prepared to resource its ambition on tackling economic crime properly from the public purse. The government has instead prioritised offloading responsibility to the private sector, creating public private partnerships, rather than addressing the underlying problem of lack of real sustained investment in law enforcement. In our experience, prioritisation in enforcement follows the resourcing. If you increase funding and ensure it is ringfenced for a specific crime then law enforcement gets on with the job. We have observed this in the case of international anti-corruption enforcement where no-one was prepared to investigate bribery and kleptocracy cases until aid money was made available for doing so. Then there was increased appetite across the board including in agencies that were not receiving aid money to investigate criminality in this area.

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