With more than half-a-billion pounds stolen from British people in the first half of 2018 alone, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner has called for a country-wide effort to tackle fraud 'postcode lottery', with a national report calling the UK's approach "disjointed and disparate".
Commissioner Grunshaw, the national Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) lead for Fraud and Cyber Crime, has thrown his support behind rallying calls for more consistency in the way that police forces tackle fraud, demanding the Government invest more funds to not only help officers catch those responsible but also engage in preventative work.
The commissioner's comments come off the back of the release of a report by inspectors from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services who visited eleven forces across the country, finding that the approach is "disjointed and disparate" in the "absence" of a national strategy. They also claim that good practice is "not structured" and forces were focused on a reactive approach with "little evidence of intelligence-led prevention".
"We know the impact that being a victim of fraud can have, both emotionally as well as financially, and this report highlights that a much more joined up approach is needed to best tackle what is an evolving threat," said Commissioner Grunshaw. "Crime is increasingly moving online and fraud is no different.
"Around half of all crimes now have an online element, which highlights the evolving nature of the threat officers are faced with," he added. "A national effort is required, involving police forces, partner agencies, and Government to ensure that good practice is shared and built upon whilst avoiding the 'postcode lottery' we currently have, alongside prevention, which must become a key priority so those who are vulnerable do not become victims.
"More strategic working must however also be supported by funding from Government to make sure officers stay ahead of the criminals and keep people safe."