With industry experts estimating that motor car insurance fraud costs the industry approximately £2 billion every year, car insurance companies will pour £8.2 million into funding a specialised anti-fraud specialist police unit.
To be operated by the economic crime directorate for the City of London’s police service, the new unit is to be comprised of 35 police support staff and specialist fraud detectives. The unit’s focus will be on not only organised criminals who excel in staging crash-for-cash accidents but also opportunistic perpetrators of individual instances of defrauding discount car insurance providers.
The new funding, which will be spread over the next three years, originates from key members of the Association of British Insurers. The extra funds come at an opportune time for the police for the City of London, as its Whitehall grant was recently cut by 20 per cent.
Adrian Leppard, new Police Commissioner for the City of London, recently remarked that these funding cuts had actually opened the door for banking providers and other financial service firms to help fight economic crime by making further investments in their own interests. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Leppard remarked that he viewed the latest funding as yet another important step for funding from the private sector, especially in light of the current economic landscape in the UK.
This could help pave the way for further specialist police units, the police commissioner also commented, with the potential for nationwide economic crime units to receive business funding as well. As it allows law enforcement personnel to focus on specific types of organised crime and fraud and also helps keep jobs for those that otherwise might have been cut, the private sector backing is ‘a win’ for all those involved, he concluded.