The Home Office Statistical Bulletin 'Crime in England and Wales 2008/09' Volume 1 (Findings from the British Crime Survey and police recorded crime) records that fraud and forgery offences recorded by the police rose by five per cent. However, it is known that many fraud offences do not come to the attention of the police.
The measurement of fraud is challenging as fraud is known to be very substantially underreported to the police. Overall, the number of fraud and forgery offences recorded by the police in 2008/09 was 163,283, an increase of five per cent compared with 2007/08. The fraud and forgery figures for 2007/08 and 2008/09 are not comparable to previous years due to changes in 2007 to the measurement of fraud by the police (see Section 5 of Volume 2).
The Home Office Bulletin focuses on plastic card fraud offences identified by The UK Card Association, along with findings from the BCS. The BCS provides a measure of plastic card fraud among adults resident in households, which is important as it allows us to capture unreported incidents. However, the Home Office recognise there are difficulties with using surveys to estimate the extent of other types of fraud, as respondents might not be aware that the deception has taken place.
Further details of the research can be found at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/hosb1109vol1.pdf.
It is likely that given what appears to be higher volumes of fraud and financial crime being reported that the level of reported fraud will increase.
To arrange a discussion with no obligations, call Sarah Wallace on 0207 421 3883 or send us an online enquiry. You can find further fraud information in our Crime and Fraud section or Business Crime section.