Serious Fraud Office: Prosecutions

Attorney General written question – answered on 12th July 2022.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Attorney General, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of steps taken by the Serious Fraud Office to increase the number of cases it prosecutes.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson The Solicitor-General

In its role as a specialist law enforcement agency tackling the top level of serious or complex fraud, bribery and corruption, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is prosecuting seven cases this calendar year. Across these cases, 20 defendants will face trial for criminality collectively exceeding £500m in value.

Given this specialist role, as well as the scale and complexity of the cases it takes on, the focus of the SFO is less on increasing the number of cases it takes on, but rather increasing its capacity through the use of technology, reducing manual errors and delivering this year’s trials effectively.

Driving this, the SFO received a funding uplift in the 2021 Spending Review which included £4.4m over three years to invest in technology. This will complement the wider work that it is doing to reduce case lengths and ensure the tools it uses to investigate and prosecute fraudsters match the evolving methods used by these criminals.

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