Chesham and Amersham MP, Sarah Green, has today urged the government to create a new agency dedicated to tackling online crime, including fraud.
Speaking in the House of Commons today, (Monday 25th April) she told of how several constituents have become disillusioned with the government’s current approach to fraud, and called on the Minister for Security, Damian Hinds to rethink it.
“The Minister knows that fraud accounts for more than a third of all crime. Last year Thames Valley Police Chiltern and South Bucks which covers my constituency had 194 Action Fraud Victim Care Reports. But one constituent told me with great distress that they’ve stopped reporting scams because they think Action Fraud is has become a ‘crime reporting agency, no longer a crime investigation agency.’
“We need a new service dedicated to effectively tackling online fraud, not just recording it. Will the Minister commit to establishing a new Online Crime Agency to do just that?”
Responding for the Government, Minister Hinds stated:
“I can confirm to the honourable lady that we are both making constant improvements to Action Fraud through the City of London Police and also investing in a wholly new Action Fraud system for 2024. But in the meantime, I really do want to encourage her constituent, and indeed all our constituents to continue reporting fraud.
“One particularly striking statistic is that with the suspicious email reporting service, over 76,000 scams have been taken down as a direct result of our constituents forwarding those emails so they can be automatically taken down.”
Later, Ms. Green commented:
“I know how important it is that we report online scams, and I echo the Minister’s advice to continue doing so. However, given the woefully low conviction rates for fraud and online scamming, it is little wonder that people are struggling to see the point of reporting their experiences. The current system for investigating fraud is failing victims.
“It is time for the government to change their approach and establish an Online Crime Agency with the capacity to investigate and prosecute online fraudsters.”