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Action Fraud Helpline

Volume 507: debated on Thursday 11 March 2010

Action Fraud is a helpline and website offering a central point for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses that have been the subject of fraud. It offers the option of being referred to Victim Support and gives fraud prevention advice, and although it has only been in place since October, it has certainly increased the amount of fraud reported, and assisted in intelligence gathering.

Can the Solicitor-General tell me whether the Action Fraud helpline is up and running in my area, and say precisely how it will help my constituents who have been the victims of fraud?

Yes, it is now. The Acton Fraud helpline started in October 2009, and it is functioning nationally, but the question is how to promote it. We need to promote it region by region, so that instead of it being inundated with complaints straight away, they come in at a rate such that it can expand to meet them. Although the helpline started in the midlands, it is now in the north-west, where my hon. Friend’s constituency is, as well as the north-east, where mine is. The helpline will offer information to prosecutions, if that is practical, as well as victim support, and it will absolutely ensure that evidence of fraud brought by individuals goes into the intelligence that we use to try to wipe out fraud more broadly.