Home Office written question – answered on 26th October 2021.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the reasons for which 22,000 fraud cases were dropped by police last year; and what steps he plans to take to ensure that instances of fraud are investigated in an equitable manner.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), operated by the UK’s national lead force for fraud City of London Police, assesses information reported to it on potential frauds to identify crimes and links between seemingly unconnected incidents.

Where there is enough evidence available and a viable lead, cases are sent to the appropriate local police force for them consider whether enforcement activity should take place. Neither Action Fraud nor NFIB conduct fraud investigations themselves. Local forces remain responsible for the decision to investigate reports of fraud.

The Government has recognised the need to boost local police capacity and is committed to strengthening our criminal justice system to put victims first. As part of the Police Uplift Programme to recruit an additional 20,000 officers by 2023, we have prioritised placing more investigators in the City of London Police and Regional Organised Crime Units to carry out fraud investigations.

The service also uses reports to support disruption of the enablers of fraud and cybercrime, including the take down of websites and telephone numbers. In addition, a benefit of having a centralised reporting system is that trends can be identified and action taken to address these threats.

In light of advances to technology and growing demand on the service as well as reports such as Sir Craig Mackey’s independent review of Action Fraud to (, we are working with the City of London Police on plans to refresh and upgrade the current Action Fraud service. The new service, expected to be operational by 2024, will improve the service to victims, provide greater intelligence and insight to policing on fraud and cybercrime affecting communities, and allow for greater prevention and disruption at scale.

In the meantime, we continue to work closely with the City of London Police, who manage the service, and a number of improvements to the existing system have been put in place over the last year to ensure a smooth transition to the new service.

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