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Volume 616: debated on Monday 31 October 2016

7. What steps she is taking to protect people from fraud and its effect on families and communities. (906883)

This Government are going further than any before to protect individuals and communities from fraud. We have established a new programme through the Joint Fraud Taskforce to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are protected. Individuals should also be supported to protect themselves. Many cyber-attacks could be defeated by simple best practice.

As the Home Secretary will be well aware, economic crime in Sussex disproportionately targets the elderly. My constituency has one of the highest dementia rates in the UK. If the number of pubs and bars can influence the police funding formula, could Ministers consider using dementia rates in the same way?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that suggestion. In fact, our constituencies share the same county of East Sussex—the county with the third highest number of over-80s—so I am familiar with the problem that he highlights. We are redoing the police funding formula and I will take his suggestion as part of the consultation.

My right hon. Friend will be aware of the concerns raised by my constituents in Cardiff about criminal activity within the financial system. With the Criminal Finances Bill going through the House, will my right hon. Friend update us on how we are cracking down on these criminals?

The UK is indeed one of the best places to do business, but the proceeds of organised crime and overseas corruption have for too long been able to move through the UK with considerable impunity. Significantly, the Bill will introduce new offences and measures to allow us to go after the money, the middlemen and the crime barons themselves.

21. Several of my constituents have fallen foul of the pernicious crime of vishing, which often targets the elderly. What are the Government doing to protect people from such scams? Will she ask Ofcom to look at international calls? (906900)

My hon. Friend is right to raise this issue. The Joint Fraud Taskforce is focusing on helping individuals to spot such attempts by fraudsters. The new “Take Five” nationwide fraud prevention campaign, which encourages people to take five minutes to consider the motives behind a cold call, will help people not to be tricked in that way. I will certainly look at his suggestion.