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

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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
Issue number2
Early online date8 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2016


  • Button_Brooks_2014_AAM

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy on 08/10/2014, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 810 KB, PDF document

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