This page sets out how Dyfed-Powys Police (DPP) is responding to the threat of fraud by implementing a four pillars approach (Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare).
Pursue - Perpetrators of fraud will face the risk of prosecution, loss of assets and the dismantling of their operations at every opportunity.
Prevent - A Police and partnership approach will deter people from engaging in fraud by raising an understanding of its devastating impact and showing that crime does not pay.
Protect - By working together in a cohesive partnership we aim to educate the public and businesses to prevent them from becoming victims of fraud. Activities across the full spectrum of public and private sector partners will ensure alerts of fraud are rapidly communicated to potential victims. By understanding the emerging threat, we will effectively drive targeted communication to help individuals to protect themselves and reduce repeat victimization.
Prepare - The Force will ensure its staff are aware of the threat from fraud and receive training to ensure they are ready to tactical it.
Calls for Service
Calls for Service are victim reported allegations of fraud made to the Force Communications Centre (FCC), or by attendance at a Police Station.
During the early part of 2020, the Economic Crime Team (ECT) identified that the NFIB data didn’t accurately reflect the true impact of fraud upon our communities. Therefore, from 6th April 2020 the ECT took over the management of all fraud and cybercrime incidents reported to the Force as a call for service - triaging the reports and engaging with victims at the earliest opportunity in order to provide consistent subject matter expert advice, guidance and support and to ensure accurate reporting to Action Fraud (AF).
If either one or both of the following criteria is met a crime will be recorded by DPP and allocated to an officer for investigation:
Is it ‘a crime in action’ i.e. is there a threat or risk of further financial loss or harm?
Is there a known local suspect in the DPP Force area?
In accordance with national policy, all other calls for service will be reported to AF on the victim’s behalf by the ECT as opposed being recorded internally for investigation.
National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) disseminations
The NFIB disseminates some fraud reports to DPP for enforcement. These disseminations are referred to DPP by NFIB for investigation when the matter has been reported to AF and it has been assessed by NFIB that the most appropriate Force to undertake an investigation would be DPP, e.g. the suspect resides within the DPP Force area.
All disseminations will have undergone an intelligence assessment by NFIB prior to being disseminated, and the reason why the referral is linked to DPP highlighted in the referral.
When DPP consider undertaking an investigation, several factors must be considered, including the nature of the fraud, the resources available and the potential success of the investigation. However, the vulnerability of the victim and the impact of the crime will always be of paramount importance in the decision-making process.
DPP does not screen or categorise levels of fraud and each referral will be individually assessed as to its suitability for investigation through the application of the Fraud Investigation Model (FIM).
The ‘Fraud Investigation Model’
The FIM is an integral part of policing and investigating fraud. It provides the practitioner with a logical framework to counter fraud and, as such, should sit at the heart of any fraud investigation.
The FIM’s elements include prevention and disruption, which are put at the front of the response process, followed by multi-agency considerations. The FIM is focused on identifying and recovering relevant material, tracing and securing the assets and dealing with the people in the case, namely the victims, witnesses and suspects.
The FIM provides investigators with an opportunity to consider the most appropriate manner in which to progress a fraud investigation by setting clear parameters, planning for disruption and/or conventional investigation, managing victims and suspects, and identifying the desired ‘end game’ from the outset.
Partner Agency led investigations
Due to the specific nature of certain fraud investigations it may be more appropriate for a partner agency to take the lead; such cases will be referred to another agency in accordance with their own referral process. DPP will always positively consider requests to assist a partner agency.
Referrals not suitable for criminal investigation
Certain referrals may be assessed as being unsuitable for criminal investigation because either they do not meet the necessary evidential threshold, or it would not be in the public interest. To avoid any subsequent confusion the rationale for making these decisions will be clearly documented.
The vulnerability of the complainant and the impact of the circumstances must be of paramount importance. Therefore, when concluding that a case is not suitable for criminal investigation the complainant must be fully informed as to the rationale for coming to this conclusion and, where appropriate complainants should be signposted to seek alternative civil redress.
Despite having had the reasons fully explained, a decision not to commit to an investigation can lead to dissatisfaction on the part of the complainant, in which case the complainant should be signposted to the Force dissatisfaction process.
Managing Victims of fraud
Professionally managing victims of fraud and providing a level of support and care according to their individual needs is central to Dyfed-Powys Police’s fraud strategy.
Operation Signature is a standardized initiative introduced to identify and support vulnerable victims of fraud. It provides preventative and supportive measures intended to protect victims and safeguard them from further targeting. An important strand of Operation Signature is its wider messaging and prevention advice, working with statutory and voluntary agencies to influence change.
The aim of Operation Signature is to work together to ensure that:
Police deliver an excellent quality of service to vulnerable victims of fraud;
Vulnerability is identified at the earliest opportunity and those requiring additional support are referred to suitable Partner Agencies;
Available investigative opportunities are pursued in line with the Fraud Investigation Model and Force/National policies and procedures;
Preventative measures are identified and implemented, with an emphasis on maximizing protection for the victim and reducing the risk of repeat victimization.
Victims of fraud are assessed for vulnerability when making a Call for Service or reporting to AF by telephone or online.
The Banking Protocol
The Banking Protocol is a national scheme between the Police and financial sector organisations (banks, building societies and the Post Office). The aim is to identify customers who are in the process of being defrauded and implementing safeguarding procedures to prevent victimisation and loss of funds.
Information that will be provided to victims re Action Fraud
When frauds are referred to AF and not adopted for investigation in Force, clear advice, proportionate to the complexity and seriousness of the crime and their own personal needs, will always be provided to victims in respect of the AF process. This advice will include:
The role of AF;
How to obtain an update on the progress of their case;
The process by which their fraud report will be considered for assessment or referral to the police (or other law enforcement agency) by the NFIB;
The options open to victims to seek civil redress where appropriate as an alternative (in cases where criminal investigations are not carried out or do not lead to convictions). and
Where financial loss has been suffered, advice and guidance will always be provided in respect of seeking compensation from the Banks and where necessary e.g. due to vulnerability, support can be provided in making any claim.