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Fraud: Credit Cards

Volume 507: debated on Wednesday 17 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of offences related to (a) credit card and (b) mortgage fraud affecting residents in the London Borough of Bexley were reported in each of the last five years. (322183)

The information requested is not available from the police recorded crime statistics collected by the Home Office. It is not possible to separately identify credit card and mortgage fraud from other offences within the fraud and forgery offence group.

The measurement of fraud is challenging as it is known to be very substantially under-reported to the police. Financial institutions will encourage customers (both personal and business) to report cheque, plastic card or online bank account fraud directly to them and not the police in the first instance. Fraud reported to financial institutions will then only be reported to the police if they are satisfied that there is a reasonable chance of a suspect being brought to justice through police investigation.

In addition to the fraud and forgery offences which are recorded by the police, the Home Office publishes information on plastic card offences identified by the UK Card Association along with findings from the British Crime Survey (BCS). The BCS provides a measure of plastic card fraud among adult residents in households which is important because it captures data on incidents which are not reported to the police. However, neither of these sources have data at borough level.

Further information is contained in chapter 4 of ‘Crime in England and Wales 2008/09’, a copy of which is available in the Library.