Do more to snare fraudsters, says leading crime fighter

Law enforcers must put “more of a deterrent factor back into fraudsters’ minds”, the National Crime Agency said today as it admitted that action to stop swindlers cheating the public is “overdue.”

Graeme Biggar, the head of the NCA’s National Economic Crime Centre, added that an “awful lot” more needed to be done to tackle fraud as he warned that offending carried out by scammers and white collar criminals was surging by as much as 10 per cent a year.

He added that fraud already accounted for 35 per cent of crimes nationwide — making it the most common type of offending — but that fewer than one per cent of law enforcers were assigned to tackling it.

He said a major new onslaught against the problem, backed by extra resources and staffing, was needed to stop individuals, businesses and public bodies from being ripped off.

Mr Biggar told the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime: “We need to increase the number of investigations into fraud, the number of convictions and we need to instil more of a deterrent factor back into fraudsters’ minds.

“We have a crime type that is increasing by between five and 10 per cent a year.”

The event also heard a warning from Met Commander Alex Murray that police believe economic crime is fuelling violence and drugs in London.