Hiding behind the veil of action fraud: the police response to economic crime in England and Wales and evaluating the case for regionalization or a National Economic Crime Agency

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Abstract

This article explores the policing structures that emerged in the noughties in England and Wales to tackle economic crime, such as Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. This article reviews some of the growing literature on these structures, in-particular, two reports by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services and a major investigation by the Police Foundation which provides a critical review of the police response to economic crime. This article argues the central problem is the lack of investigative capacity, among others. It also argues Action Fraud, which has become commonly derided, has become a useful veil from which the police to hide their inadequate response. This article argues radical change is required to address the investigative gap through either regionalization or a national solution, through a National Economic Crime Agency. This article considers some of the arguments for against such approaches and calls for a debate to commence on the future structures for policing economic crime.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolicing
Early online date10 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 10 May 2021

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