Well, this was news to me, and somewhat alarming news it is, too:
People will no longer be able to report cheque or card fraud or theft to the police under new rules being introduced by the Government.
From 1 April 2007, anyone who is a victim of this type of crime will be told to report it to their bank or building society and not police.
It will now be up to financial institutions to report such crimes to the police, which has lead to fears official figures will not truly reflect the seriousness of the problem.
Andrew Goodwill, managing director of Early Warning, an online card fraud specialist company, said the move is downgrading card fraud from a crime to an industry problem.
One way to get the crime figures down, I suppose, but really…
This was brought to my attention, indirectly, from the author of the article, who writes that
I am working on a big scam [I assume she means she’s working on a report about one] at the moment and the victims are really bothered that they can’t report it to anyone – bar their bank . They feel cheated and short changed and want either a centre or police to take this back so a fraud specialist company has started a petition on No 10 website – the more people sign the better because this is a serious issue that the government brought in as per usual not bothering to care if it affects the public
Unfortunately, I can’t find the petition at the moment, but I’ll try so to do.
[Update: now I have]
Does anyone have any further and better particulars of this extraordinary measure?
And could it be anything to do with the complaints from the Police Federation today about their members being required to arrest people, including children, on ludicrous charges, such as ‘being in possession of an egg, with intent to throw’ or a child for throwing a slice of cucumber at another child (yes, I know it’s a technical assault, but …)? The complaint from the Police Federation is that they’re being forced into this by performance targets, because all such incidents reported and dealt with by a caution or a fixed-penalty notice count as ‘crimes brought to justice’ just as do things that take a bit longer to investigate and prosecute, such as frauds?
The justification for this policy on not wanting to know about online fraud and suchlike, I’m delighted to see, is that
“Police forces at present will often not confirm a crime has taken place before they have had this confirmed by the financial institution that has issued the card… [making] financial the institution the first point of contact [is] removing an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy and making it easier for customers, ” the Home Office said.