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Strategy, mission and vision

The City of London Police leads the national law enforcement response to the threat of non-fiscal fraud to the UK. Utilising the full extent of our warranted powers, we are a specialist operation that targets organised crime attacks and pro-actively prevents such attacks occurring. One of our great strengths is our ability to adapt to the changing socio-economic environment in which we operate.

Fraud is no longer the domain of the lone criminal. Neither is it victimless. We have challenged these stereotypes. Increasingly, we are demonstrating that organised criminals, many with links to the most serious forms of crime and terrorism, are diversifying into a problem that is causing significant harm to UK citizens and businesses.

Insurance fraud is a significant problem. Undetected insurance fraud is estimated to cost the industry billions per annum along with ‘paid away’ insurance fraud (detected frauds where the fraudster has received monies) and detected fraud (where payments are stopped).

A threat assessment published in November 2011 highlighted several contributory factors to the problem:

  • Public indifference to the possibility of detection or conviction
  • Public perception that it is the corporation rather than any individual that suffers the loss
  • Growing compensation culture
  • The economic climate
  • A disjointed approach between industry and law enforcement meaning low risk of arrest and
  • A failure to communicate the significance of the threat to the public

As a result, the Association of British Insurers and the Commissioner of the City of London Police agreed the creation of the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, a specialist police unit to tackle insurance fraud. Paid for by the insurance industry and hosted by the City of London Police, the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) focuses on tackling both organised crime and the high volume/low value attack.

It consists of a team of full-time specialist fraud detectives and civilian financial investigators and is led by a Detective Chief Inspector. IFED is dedicated to the insurance industry while retaining its operational independence.

By working with the Insurance Fraud Bureau, the British insurance industry, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and drawing on its wider police resources such as surveillance and forensic support, the unit is capable of arresting hundreds of offenders each year. IFED capitalises on the City of London Police’s status as the national policing lead for fraud to co-ordinate support from the regional forces, and work with the insurance industry on its aim to prevent fraud and recover the proceeds of crime.

IFED Vision

“Alter the misconception that it is acceptable to commit insurance fraud by bringing offenders to justice and confiscating their assets”

IFED Mission statement

“We will address high volume and organised criminality in collaboration with our criminal justice partners. As we develop our understanding of the extent of the threat, we will work with the insurance industry to educate the public, change opinion and stop insurance fraud being committed at current levels”.

What IFED does

  • Combats high volume offending against the general insurance industry and promote successes in order to deter future offending.
  • Creates a hostile environment against Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) thereby making it harder for them to profit from their crimes against the insurance industry.
  • Works with the insurance industry and develop pro-active harm reduction initiatives in order to address public opinion.
  • Develops an understanding of the wider impact of insurance fraud and demonstrate to Government, the Police Service and other agencies the links between insurance fraud and other areas of crime.
  • Uses asset recovery and denial tactics in order to deter offending.
  • Ensures that the performance regime adequately reflects the levels of investment against our activity, particularly in disrupting organised crime groups and reducing the threat of harm.
  • Explores every opportunity to improve our knowledge by developing intelligence sharing protocols with partners, notably the Insurance Fraud Bureau, but also other trade and representative groups within the insurance industry.
  • Through learning from operational activity, share our corporate knowledge and operational intelligence with partners.

How we deliver our aims

  • Work with partners in both the public and private sectors to develop comprehensive assessment of the threat posed to insurance businesses within the UK.
  • Ensure our Control Strategy reflects the appropriate levels of threat to enable us to prioritise our intelligence/prevention/enforcement activity.
  • Continue to demonstrate the impact of organised crime groups within the fraud arena by contributing to the OCG mapping process.
  • Identify strategies for multi-agency responses to threats and ensure this collaboration is, where appropriate, formalised by Memorandums of Understanding.
  • Make effective use of Suspicious Activity Reports and other financial intelligence to target OCGs or high volume offenders profiting from insurance fraud.
  • Work in partnership with the insurance business at all levels in order to respond to their unique needs and manage their expectations.
  • Work with the Crown Prosecution Service to deliver an effective judicial response to threats of economic crime.

Measuring Success

  • Monthly assessment of team and individual performance against value for money, tackling serious and organised crime and public satisfaction key performance areas.
  • Introduction of the proactive prevention team and measurement of their impact.
  • Assessment of the cost v benefit of enforcement intelligence and prevention activity i.e. showing value for money
  • Introduction of efficiency savings as part of the overall policy of driving down policing costs.
  • Public opinion polls.

Improving Performance

  • Maintaining an ongoing review of IFED activity and ensuring that learning is assimilated into future planning.
  • Build the IFED into a Centre of Excellence for promulgating best practice and operational knowledge to partners.
  • Develop plans with the insurance industry to measure public perceptions regarding fraud.
  • Appoint ‘critical friend’ in the form of an IAG to review and assess aspects of our work that are likely to impact on specific communities.
  • Ensure that we network with all the Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCU), Regional Asset Recovery Teams (RART) and Regional Intelligence Units (RIUs) to maximise use of policing resources in England and Wales.
  • Developing our existing communication strategy so that everyone understands our business.
  • Benchmark performance against the ‘Protective Services’ standards set by National Police Chiefs' Council.