Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has asked the Government to include policy and legislative changes that will make tackling financial crime a clear priority in this year’s Queen’s Speech.
Last year Cifas recorded 320,900 frauds on its database, a 16% increase in overall frauds compared to 2014 when 276,993 cases were recorded. Cifas believes that fraud is a growth business and this high volume crime is affecting more people, businesses, charities and public sector bodies than ever before.
Cifas is calling on the Government to include the following measures in forthcoming legislation:
Data Sharing Bill: In the upcoming Data Sharing Bill, Cifas would like to see industry given clear guidance by the Government, backed up by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), on the conditions for data sharing for the purpose of preventing financial crime and protecting victims across the private and public sectors; and a periodic central and local Government data audit to review what data is held and what data can be released to third parties to enable savings across UK plc.
Financial Crime Measures: In light of the Government’s Modern Crime Prevention Strategy, Anti-Corruption Strategy and plans to legislate in the area of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, Cifas would like to see a more responsive funding formula for law enforcement that reflects the growing threat of cyber and financial crime; an enhanced national training programme for all police officers on fraud and cyber crime; a review of what support jurors need when faced with complex fraud cases, a review of the sentencing guidelines for financial crime; and the creation of a register of corrupt officials that employers from all sectors can check employees against.
Cyber Life Skills Measures: In light of moves to a more Digital Economy, Cifas would like to see UK citizens develop a better understanding of how they can prevent themselves falling victim to fraud and cyber crime by ensuring: all pupils are taught about the risks of fraud and cyber crime in Schools; current fraud and cyber education awareness campaigns have the resources needed to make an impact; and the Government providing SMEs in all regions advice on fraud and cyber crime.
Simon Dukes, Cifas Chief Executive, said:
“Fraud is a serious and growing problem in the UK. This crime has devastating effects on individuals, businesses and public services in the UK.
“Whilst we recognise we can never stop all frauds, we believe the Government should be doing more to enable private and public sector collaboration to tackle this crime. We believe that if the Government adopted our proposed measures in forthcoming legislation this would make a real difference in the fight against fraud.”