Lord Mayor: addressing economic crime must be seen as a foundation for a prosperous economy

Lord Mayor of the City of London Nicholas Lyons said that addressing economic crime “must be seen as a foundation for a prosperous economy”.

Speaking at the 40th International Symposium on Economic Crime in Cambridge, he said fraud, which makes up 41% of crime in England and Wales, is “increasingly recognised as a national security threat, especially at a time when technological developments such as advances in AI present so many more opportunities for deception and disruption”.

He told the audience of leading international thinkers in tackling fraud that "preventing crime has to be at the heart of modern policing and the response to fraud is no different” – with “the huge scale of the threat posed” meaning that the whole of policing and the wider financial and tech sectors need to continue the good work we are doing to meet this challenge”.

He said as the National Lead Force for fraud, the City of London Police is “leading the fightback by working closely with local police forces and with national agencies”, running Action Fraud, the fraud and cybercrime reporting service, and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), which disseminates cases to police forces across England and Wales.

He said the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a specialist unit made up of City of London Police and Metropolitan Police Service officers, has already achieved industry savings of £750 million by preventing and disrupting fraud. And the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) has arrested and interviewed over 2,700 suspects, securing over 1,000 convictions and cautions, and recovering assets worth almost £3 million for the victims of crime.

The City of London Police and the National Economic Crime Centre are working on delivering the new National Fraud Squad, which builds on the Proactive Economic Crime Teams recently established in each region.

They have successfully undertaken over 400 investigations in their inaugural year, including the UK's biggest ever anti-fraud operation, the Metropolitan Police-led Operation Elaborate, which saw more than 100 arrests of scammers who were targeting almost 20 people every minute of the day through their website.

The Lord Mayor said that alongside the City of London Police, the City Corporation is boosting the wider criminal justice sector response to economic crime by investing £350million in a new court complex in the City, with specialist facilities for economic and cyber-crime cases.

The City Corporation is the police authority for the City of London Police and 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.