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By what means the new National Fraud Strategic Authority is intended to improve protection for businesses and the public against fraud.
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The NFSA is developing its first national fraud strategy, which follows an extensive consultation with public and private sector bodies. The strategy is intended to bring together Government, enforcement and private sector activity to tackle and prevent fraud. The strategy will be published in the next few months.
I thank my hon. and learned Friend for that answer and commend her for coming in when she is obviously quite poorly—I hope that she will soon be on the mend. The formation of the NFSA is welcome, but will its role include fraud prevention? If the NFSA is to be at all strategic, its role surely must include fraud prevention.
My hon. Friend has got exactly to the point identified by the review: although agencies are in place to prosecute, to sentence and to seize assets, a focus must be on spotting fraud early so that the public can be protected from it before it starts, and it can be prevented and disrupted. It was with that aim in mind that the NFSA was set up to co-ordinate and fill in the gaps of our national effort against fraud. The NFSA is working closely with Lothian and Borders police in particular in leading the development of a comprehensive Scottish fraud strategy to match this one.