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Fraud Investigation

Volume 79: debated on Thursday 16 May 1985

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asked the Attorney-General whether his Department issues any guidance to police and other law enforcement agencies concerning the investigation of fraud and related offences.

No. My responsibility is for the work of the Director of Public Prosecutions who does not himself undertake the investigation of fraud or any other category of crime. However, he is always willing to advise the police and other enforcement agencies, particularly in respect of cases of alleged fraud where he is likely to be responsible for the conduct of any resulting prosecution. In cases of particular complexity this assistance may extend to the establishment of a fraud investigation group to co-ordinate legal and investigative aspects of the inquiry, about which my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary has issued advice to chief officers of police. I meet the Director of Public Prosecutions regularly to discuss the work of his Department. The scope of these discussions includes the handling of fraud cases generally as well as individual cases of particular difficulty or importance. the guidelines as to the criteria for prosecution which I published in March 1983 are of general application. But I have published no formal guidelines relating to any specific categories of criminal offences. Following establishment of the Crown prosecution service my existing criteria will be supplemented by the guidance which the Director will be required to promulgate by virtue of clause 9 of the Prosecution of Offences Bill.