Skip to main content

Fighting Fraud Together - The Government Response to the Fraud Review

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 15 March 2007

My right hon. Friend the Attorney-General has made the following written ministerial statement:

“I have today published the Government’s formal response to the consultation on the recommendations of the fraud review. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Government’s response to the fraud review is a key element of our overall strategy for handling fraud, which is estimated to cost the economy £14 billion per annum. Fraud presents a serious threat to the economy, and does real harm to victims and businesses.

The Government are committed to tackling fraud, and together with industry, the public sector and regulators will be taking forward a wide ranging programme to create the building blocks for a truly strategic response to this growing threat.

In doing so, the Government accept the thrust of most of the recommendations of the fraud review. A detailed programme of work is now being established to take this to the next stage.

A priority will be to establish a national fraud strategic authority, which will be the forum for public and private sectors to develop a national strategy for tackling fraud. This will include establishing a mechanism for accurate and regular measurement of the extent of fraud, which is crucial to establishing a long-term solution.

Detailed work will also be taken forward on how best to establish a national fraud reporting centre recommended by the review as a means of taking crime reports from victims and developing intelligence to tackle fraud and organised crime related to fraud. The commissioner of the City of London police will chair a working group to make detailed proposals on the establishment of a national lead force, which will aim to complement existing police force capacity and provide a centre of excellence for complex and serious cases.

The Government will also be taking forward a number of the recommendations made to improve the way the criminal justice system handles fraud-related cases. This will include a study to assess the costs of fraud to the courts and any benefits which can be derived from dealing with more aspects of complex frauds in one jurisdiction.

Finally, the Government will explore the review’s recommendation of encouraging early guilty pleas through a safe legal framework which protects defendants’ rights but also improves the experience of victims.”