London,
28
November
2023
|
10:16
Europe/London

Behind dry statistics on fraud are mental anguish and ruined lives, says City Lord Mayor

Police professionals, policy makers, and MPs from across England and Wales have been urged by the Lord Mayor of the City of London to never lose sight of the life-changing impact of financial crime on its many victims.

Speaking at a fraud conference in central London, Professor Michael Mainelli reminded guests that behind “dry statistics are ruined lives, mental anguish, and the erosion of the trust that allows society to function.”

Addressing delegates at the ‘Financial Crime 360 Conference’ at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, Lord Mayor Mainelli pointed to the terrible consequences for victims of fraud – some of whom have lost huge sums of money – and who are left feeling “duped and vulnerable.”

Fraud, he said, accounted for an estimated 40% of all crime in England and Wales in 2022, while economic crime is “increasingly recognised as a national security threat”, in particular, “when technological developments, such as advances in AI, present more opportunities for deception and disruption”. 

Almost everyone in the conference room, Lord Mayor Mainelli concluded, will have been a victim of financial crime, or know a victim personally.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London is the elected head of the City of London Corporation, which is both the governing body of the Square Mile and the police authority for the business district’s dedicated police force, the City of London Police. 

As the National Lead Force for fraud and the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for economic and cyber-crime, the City of London Police supports national, regional, and local police forces across England and Wales in tackling cybercrime.

The Lord Mayor said the force has demonstrated “a unique combination of expertise, innovation, and the ability to foster industry relationships” with its Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit – which celebrated its 21st anniversary this year – “working with firms to achieve industry savings of £750 million by preventing and disrupting fraud.”

And he told guests that the City police has also worked with the National Economic Crime Centre to deliver a new 'National Fraud Squad' function – successfully undertaking over 400 investigations in their inaugural year.

Closing his conference speech, Lord Mayor Mainelli admitted that “there is no silver bullet to reducing crime”, but called for anti-fraud funding to be raised in line with the scale of the problem.

As a priority, he concluded, local authorities should be properly equipped with the staff, resources, and tools to combat the increased prevalence of financial crime.

ENDS

Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The City of London Corporation’s Court of Common Council is the Police Authority for the Square Mile. It is responsible for supporting the City of London Police and holding its Commissioner to account. It aims to make sure the force is running an effective and efficient service, ensuring value for money, and setting policing priorities considering the views of the local community.