Police force's focus on stopping residents falling victim to fraud

West Yorkshire Police is urging people to understand the risks of fraud and know how to prevent themselves falling victim.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 7:00 am

Dealing with fraud is a top priority for the Force and nationally there were 4.6million fraud offences in the 12 months up to March 2021.

Ramona Senior who leads the Force’s Economic Crime Unit said: “Some people say that fraud is a victimless crime but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Fraud is often committed by heartless criminals targeting vulnerable victims who will stop at nothing to deceive people.

Ramona Senior who leads the Force’s Economic Crime Unit

“They really don’t care at all about the financial and emotional impact offences can have on victims and loved ones.

“I have heard far too many examples of where people have lost what may seem to some a relatively small amount of money but to the victim could mean the difference between heating their house in winter or having enough food to feed their family.”

A report out today from the Victims’ Commissioner sets out the extent of the issue nationally.

The report maps out victims of fraud and suggests who criminal justice agencies and support services should prioritise.

The findings come as the government is set to enhance Action Fraud with new systems and is set to publish its new fraud strategy.

In response to the latest publication, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in West Yorkshire, Alison Lowe said: “It is concerning to see the sheer scale at which fraud is occurring and how the COVID situation has been exploited, leading to a surge in cases.

“The pandemic itself exposed the socio-economic disparities that exist here within West Yorkshire and how vulnerable many are to this type of crime.

“We must scratch the surface to identify those who are disproportionately affected, so we can deliver the right support at the right time and in the right places.

“This report will give us the necessary insights and tools to influence the picture locally and I really welcome its publication.

“I would add that consultation on the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan is ongoing, including a survey running until 17th October 2021, which is available via our website.

“It is opportunity to help shape the police and partnership response to key public safety issues such as this.”

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