City backs MPs’ calls for fraud protections in Online Safety Bill
The City of London Corporation’s Police Authority Board (PAB) is supporting MPs’ calls to include fraud and paid-for digital adverts within the scope of the Online Safety Bill.
The parliamentary scrutiny report, published today by the Joint Committee on the Draft Online Safety Bill, sets out a comprehensive list of recommendations for the Government in tackling fraud and reducing the number of victims of online scams.
The PAB’s main role is to ensure that the City of London Police – the National Lead Force for Fraud - runs an effective and efficient service, including setting policing priorities for the City.
It is campaigning with the City of London Police and a range of industry bodies for both elements to be included in the Bill.
The Joint Committee said that excluding paid-for advertising would leave online platforms “with little incentive to remove harmful adverts”, and risks “encouraging further proliferation of such content”.
They also recommended designating fraud as “priority illegal content” in the same way that terrorism, and child sexual exploitation and abuse, are covered by the Bill.
Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Police Authority Board, James Thomson, said:
“Fraud is the fastest growing area of crime in the UK, and we must take every opportunity to reduce its threat. This widely anticipated legislation is an essential piece of that jigsaw.
“Fraudsters are sophisticated in how they operate, often, targeting vulnerable people and leaving them distressed and in some cases, suicidal.
“MPs recognise the devastating impact of fraud in the UK, and we strongly encourage the Government to accept the Joint Committee’s recommendations.”
The City of London Police receives 800,000 reports of fraud every year.
It accounts for one-third of all crimes and is of increasing importance nationally, but only receives a fraction - just under 2% - of police resources to tackle it.
Fraud is an under-reported crime, and reported losses were around £2.3bn in the last financial year, affecting around one million people.
As well as substantial financial loss, it causes significant harm to victims of crime, many often highly vulnerable, and in many cases that harm is life-changing.
Notes for Editors:
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About the City of London Corporation:
Guild 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
About the City of London Police Authority Board:
Managed by the City of London Corporation, the City of London Police Authority Board’s role is to make sure that the City of London Police runs an effective and efficient service by holding the Commissioner to account; to ensure value for money in the way the police is run, and to set policing priorities taking into account the views of the community. [The Court of Common Council is the Police Authority for the Square Mile as set out in the City of London Police Act 1839. Under Section 56 of the Act, the Common Council delegated to the Police Authority Board all of its police authority functions (with the exception of the appointment of the Commissioner)].
About the City of London Police:
The City of London Police is responsible for policing the City's business district, the 'Square Mile' in the historical centre of London. In addition, it holds national responsibility for Economic Crime and under this remit, it is host to Action Fraud (the national fraud and cybercrime reporting service); the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau; the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department; and the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. The City of London continues to be one of the safest urban areas in the country. www.cityoflondon.police.uk