From ‘shallow’ to ‘deep’ policing: ‘crash-for-cash’ insurance fraud investigation in England and Wales and the need for greater regulation

Mark Button, G. Brooks

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Abstract

The policing of insurance fraud has traditionally been dealt with beyond the criminal justice system as a private matter between the claimant and the insurer with only a few iconic cases referred to the criminal justice system each year. The growth of insurance fraud, particularly ‘crash-for-cash’ fraud, and the disinterest of the police, has led to a change in the response of the insurance industry. This paper will argue that this response can be characterised as a shift from the traditional ‘shallow’ to a ‘deeper’ form of policing which sees greater focus upon criminal and quasi-criminal outcomes. This paper explores some of the private and innovative methods the industry has developed and illustrates what greater private criminal investigation might look like at a time when police privatisation has become a higher profile issue. The paper argues the shift to ‘deeper’ policing necessitates greater regulation of the private investigation of crime and outlines a number of proposals to address this gap which require further consideration and debate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-229
Number of pages20
JournalPolicing and Society
Volume26
Issue number2
Early online date8 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • private investigation
  • insurance fraud
  • 'shallow' and 'deep' policing
  • privatisation

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