Fraud costs the UK billions of pounds a year – but the true figure remains unknown.
The total amount recorded by the City of London Police each year is in the region of £4.5billion. As with all crime, this figure does not provide an accurate overview of the true scale and impact of this crime across British society.
Estimates vary from £130 billion to £193 billion per year.
This is a crime which is affecting countless victims across the West Midlands. That is why the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster has dedicated specific resources in order to develop a tailored West Midlands response.
In February 2020, the PCC hosted a national roundtable with stakeholders from across the public and private sectors to look at what could be done to improve the UK’s response to fraud. In the afternoon a series of roundtables were hosted by Birmingham City University.
Out of this process came a discussion of what more could be done. This ultimately led to the independent report, Tackling Fraud in the UK. The report, which can be found below, stated from the discussions: “The ideal was seen to be a public health approach to tackling fraud”.
Following this the PCC and his team commissioned a viability and recommendations report, to look into what a Public Health Approach to Fraud would look like in a West Midlands context. The team which was chosen to conduct this research was a team from Cardiff University, headed by renowned fraud academic Professor Michael Levi.
In March 2023, the PCC and his team launched the first ever public health approach to fraud. The papers and resources which have led to and form part of this response can be found below.