I have regular discussions with the financial sector and law enforcement and continue to monitor trends in fraud and financial crime. However, I have made no specific assessment of the impact of the downturn in the economy on these types of crime.
The Government are determined to tackle fraud and have recently allocated £29 million in new funding to establish the National Fraud programme. As part of this programme the new National Fraud Strategic Authority is working closely with stakeholders across Government, law enforcement and the private sector to drive forwards a concerted UK strategy against fraud and to make the UK a much more difficult place for fraudsters to succeed. In addition to the new authority, the City of London police now has a national remit to tackle serious and complex fraud cases across England and Wales, and to assist other forces in their response to fraud, while a new National Fraud Reporting Centre (NFRC), expected to go live in 2009, will radically streamline the way that the public report fraud to the police. The NFRC will also enable the police to draw together intelligence from separate incidents of fraud and help to form the basis of better prevention advice and alerts for businesses and the public.