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Police action on fraud 'unfit for purpose' says boss

Victims of fraud and cyber crime are being “let down” by the current system, according to the West Midlands' top police chief.

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West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said the national policing response to investigating the crimes was not fit for purpose and needed a complete overhaul.

And he added that the West Midlands force had a lot of catching up to do to keep up with sophisticated crooks targeting unsuspecting victims.

Figures reveal that 35,964 fraud cases in the West Midlands in 2018/19 resulted in a total loss of £58.8 million to victims.

In the UK, the statistics showed that around £2.2 billion was stolen from victims through fraudulent activity through a reported 741,123 cases.

But credit rating agency Experian projected the total cost to the UK economy was likely to much higher than what is recorded and estimate the figure could be closer to £190 billion.

Mr Jamieson said, given Experian’s projections, the devastating impact on the West Midlands economy was also likely to be much higher.

He said: “Victims of fraud are being let down under the current system which is slow, unresponsive and in need of an overhaul.

“I am sure that there are many more than 35,000 fraud victims in the West Midlands, but it is clear that is a massive underestimation.

“Fraud cases are managed at a national level, it is clear that national policing’s response to fraud is wholly unfit for purpose.

“This is an area of crime that has grown hugely in recent years. It is clear that policing needs to catch up with the criminals.”