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Credit Cards: Theft

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to compel credit card companies to report the (a) theft and (b) misuse of credit cards to the police; and if she will make a statement. (198463)

The financial industry, the police and the Home Office all recognised that the system for reporting and recording cheque, plastic card and internet banking fraud that applied prior to 1 April 2007 was both bureaucratic and did little to further the investigation and prosecution of offenders.

To combat this, the Home Office, with agreement from Association of Chief Police Officers and APACS (UK Payments Association), introduced a new system. From 1 April 2007, it became the responsibility of financial institutions to pass on directly to the police, via a single point of contact in each police force, those matters where an investigation could be pursued, to provide a greater chance of prosecuting offenders than before.

The changes to reporting and recording are intended to reduce the level of bureaucracy involved in fraud recording, and streamline the reporting and initial investigation of such frauds. A Home Office chaired group comprising representatives from the banks and law enforcement meets to keep these new arrangements under review and make changes where appropriate.

As part of work to implement the findings of the Fraud Review, new money has recently been allocated to establish a new National Fraud Reporting Centre which will equip law enforcement agencies with a powerful intelligence tool and help form the basis of better prevention advice and alerts to fraud threats for business and the public.