Skip to main content

Primary school teachers, doctors, social workers, and even scout leaders will need to help tackle fraud if we are to get on top of the problem in the West Midlands.

That’s according to a Cardiff University report that’s just been published by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster.  

The report claims a public health approach is needed, which means far more organisations, professionals and community groups must work together to educate potential fraud victims about the dangers that are out there.  

At the moment police, banks and some charities are mainly left to raise awareness about fraud, but according to the university report, that needs to be broadened out to include many more people.

The report claims that teachers have a role to play in educating young people about the risks of fraud as part of a wider drive to raise awareness.

The PCC has been increasingly concerned about the number of people who are falling foul of fraudsters, caused, in part, by stretched police resources.

Fraud is the 5th most reported crime in the West Midlands. In our region it’s thought around 1 in 12 people fall victim to fraud every year, but a lot of the fraud offences involve relatively small amounts of money. Half of all individual fraud victims lose less than £80 and three quarters lose less than £250. But depending on your means that can have quite an impact

The university report concludes that fraud is increasing and could continue to do so as the cost of living worsens. It’s thought more individuals might turn to crime to make ends meet and more people will turn out to make investments that turn out to be cons in the hope of beating inflation and paying their bills.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “I welcome the report as an important contribution to the prevention and tackling of fraud.

“That is because the prevention of fraud will always be better than having to deal with the consequences of fraud.

“Sadly, thousands of people in the West Midlands are victims of fraud every year and not enough is being done to prevent and tackle it, or bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Cardiff University have concluded that a public health approach is needed. That means far more people becoming involved in education and raising awareness of the dangers that exist and helping and supporting people who are most vulnerable to stay safe.

“We also need the government to invest far more in policing, so crimes like fraud can be addressed head on.”

Michael Levi is a Professor of Criminology at Cardiff University and the report author, he said: “Frauds are neighbourhood crimes that attack people of all generations and though there are excellent websites and guides, we cannot afford to leave it to government to spread the message. 

“Schools, families and friends need to have conversations and reduce isolation and sometimes the shame of being a victim to prevent frauds and be more resilient.”

Whilst Detective Chief Inspector, Amir Abid, from the Regional Organised Crime Unit said: “The Regional Organised Crime Unit in the West Midlands has a proactive fraud team dealing with high harm causing frauds such as romance, courier and payment diversion frauds.

“Recognising that prevention alongside education and raising awareness is key, we welcome this new and innovative approach to tackle fraud.”

The report was backed by the Midlands Fraud Forum. It’s Chairman is Andrew Herring, he said: “the Midlands Fraud Forum was delighted to support this important and detailed research into new methods of combatting the scourge of fraud affecting our communities”.

To view the report click here.

Back to News Archive

Latest Posts

Keep up to date with news stories about the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Go to the Press Office.

All News

Get the Latest news