Telephone: 020 7601 2222 PO Box 36451 London EC2M 4WN
Sign up to one of our email and text alert
services provided by Vocal and get community and business related
updates from us.
Download the 'Financial Crime against Adults'
A City of London Police report published today (Dec 13) reveals
how vulnerable adults are being exploited by apparent friends,
family, small-time fraudsters and organised criminals alike,
suffering losses ranging from a few pounds to millions of
‘Financial Crime against Adults’, commissioned by the Home
Office, Department for Health and ACPO, highlights how victims are
slipping through the system of care, left with no savings and
reliant on the state to support them in retirement.
Some are so socially isolated that they continue to give money
to criminals, even when they realise what is happening, just to
maintain some form of human contact.
In other instances, trusted parties within the family or a care
environment are stealing assets, including what they perceive as
their inheritance, in an attempt to prevent them being used to
provide care or comfort to the victim.
The report shows how the impact of financial crime is causing
some of the most vulnerable in society to suffer something that can
be every bit as significant as physical abuse – in some cases even
contributing to a premature death.
It also reveals how previously independent people are being left
with nothing after falling victim to organised crime gangs, and to
make matters worse are unwilling or unable to engage with any
providers of adult social care.
Financial crime is recorded as the second most common type of
abuse experienced by older people in the UK, with approximately
86,500 people aged 66 and over subject to financial abuse over a 12
This criminality contributes to the UK’s total fraud loss, which
the National Fraud Authority (NFA) estimated at £38.4 billion
‘Financial Crime against Adults’ calls for a more cohesive
response from the private sector and public bodies to a crime that
leaves many suffering in silence having lost faith in the
organisations that should be there to help them.
The report, collated by the City of London Police’s National
Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), also highlights how financial
crime against vulnerable adults is an evolving threat, with
advancements in technology and the diversity and nature of the
perpetrators making it harder to find one, all embracing solution
to the problem.
These changes mean much of today’s fraud is taking place behind
closed doors, often in victim’s homes, with people being conned by
apparent friends and family and targeted by organised crime gangs
with mass marketing frauds via mail and email.
Commander of the City of London Police, Ian Dyson, said:
“It is unfortunate that some of the most vulnerable in society
continue to slip through the net of social care having fallen
victim to a financial crime.
“This report highlights how police and the public and private
sector need to continue working together to ensure we have the
systems in place that will better protect vulnerable adults from
criminals, in all their various forms, and better treat vulnerable
adults when they fall victim to financial crime.
“Much good work has already been done to address this problem,
but the nature and scale of the threat and the damage it inflicts
on people’s lives, and the UK economy, demands an even greater
ACPO is already using the findings of ‘Financial Crime against
Adults’ to develop specific guidance for police forces around
safeguarding and investigating the abuse of vulnerable adults,
developing training packages with the help of the NPIA.
ACPO lead on vulnerable adults, ACC Gary Cann, said:
“Often financial crime can go unnoticed and raising awareness
about the threats and damage caused by such crime is vital.
“This report was commissioned to highlight the current and
potential threats to vulnerable adults from economic crime. Partner
agencies have provided invaluable advice and have helped to
identify good practice as well as areas where we can improve our
response to victims of financial crime.
“Through the development of new guidance to assist police
officers in investigating this type of crime, as well as improved
training in this area, it is hoped that we can learn from any gaps
and missed opportunities identified in the past and rectify them
for the future, helping to improve the service we are able to offer
‘Financial Crime against Adults’ also ties in with the
Government’s recently published strategy on Organised Crime, Local
to Global, which outlines the measures and steps police will take
to reduce victimisation by raising awareness of the tactics used by
fraudsters and providing alerts to individuals and businesses to
better protect themselves.
Home Office Minister, Lynne Featherstone MP, said:
"Crimes against vulnerable people are despicable, and this
report highlights the role that all of us must play in clamping
down on them.
"I am determined that government will work across departments
and agencies to set the national direction for safeguarding
vulnerable adult and that this should remain a core part of police
work to protect the public.
"We will continue to work with the police and our other partners
to implement measures in our organised crime strategy which will
reduce the chance of vulnerable people becoming victims."
Download the 'Financial Crime against Adults' report.
For more information call the City of London Police press office
on 020 7601 2220