Uncovering the iceberg
: mandating the measurement of fraud

  • Martin James Tunley

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


There has been limited academic interest on accurate fraud measurement, and no identifiable published research on practitioner and academic opinion on measurement methods and how the process might be improved to generate a more realistic loss figure. This thesis presents the findings of research conducted as part of a Professional Doctorate in Criminal Justice studies. The project has gathered views from fraud professionals and academics, drawing upon 12 structured qualitative interviews. The opinion of fraud professionals from the public, private and voluntary/charitable sectors has been gathered through the issue of a quantitative web based questionnaire informed by the responses obtained from the qualitative strand.

The thesis presents collective opinion on the creation of a standard definition of fraud for measurement purposes, mandating measurement through the creation of a statute based upon empirical evidence provided by the United States (US) Improper Payments Information Act 2002, the implementation of a consistent standard of measurement, and the development of best practice. The research findings have identified a complacent attitude towards fraud and associated business risks, defined as immoral phlegmatism. Accordingly, solutions are offered to address this phenomenon within all three sectors.

Recommendations are then proffered on how to improve the accuracy of loss figures through the creation of legislation mandating fraud measurement in the public and private sectors, the introduction of a British Standard of measurement, the development of a knowledge exchange infrastructure, and a marketing campaign to increase fraud awareness and associated business risks.

Date of AwardSept 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorMark Button (Supervisor) & Phil Clements (Supervisor)

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