City Police Authority head: world is breeding “endlessly innovative” cyber criminals

A prominent London policing leader said last night [18 January] that it is “critical” that the fight against fraudsters is delivered with a “collaborative and proactive” approach between police forces, the government, and businesses.


James Thomson, Chair of the City of London Police Authority Board, said tackling economic crime “can’t be done in silos”.


He said that the world “is breeding criminals who are becoming endlessly innovative”, and “the sheer brashness of hostile states” puts the onus on the UK to collectively be even more innovative and forward looking.


Mr Thomson, who also chairs the National Cyber Resilience Centre Group, said the City of London Police, which is the National Lead Force for fraud and cybercrime, had prevented nearly £750 million going into the pockets of fraudsters.


He said the force continues to put economic criminals behind bars, has secured over 1,000 convictions and cautions, and recovered assets worth almost £3 million for victims.


But he said nearly half of all crime in England and Wales falls under the umbrella of fraud and economic crime, yet under two per cent of police funding nationally is dedicated towards this issue.


The former City of London Police Special Constable hailed the steps taken by the Government to investigate fraud and said “we must not stop there. We need to be more hostile to those that commit fraud or enable fraud or threaten our cyber security.”


He welcomed the Government’s decision to include paid-for advertising in the Online Safety Bill and include fraud as a priority harm. He said that legislation should go further and pressed for changes in relation to disclosure requirements for fraud prosecutions and to introduce a duty of care on businesses to prevent fraud.


Mr Thomson was speaking to an audience of UK law enforcement and security leaders at the City of London Police Private Partnerships Dinner in the heart of the Square Mile.


The event marked the 20th anniversary of the City of London Police’s Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) and the 10th anniversary of the force’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).


The City of London Corporation’s Court of Common Council is the Police Authority for the Square Mile. The Police Authority Board is responsible for holding the Commissioner of the City of London Police 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.


Notes to editors

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