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New directions in policing fraud: the emergence of the counter-fraud specialist in the United Kingdom

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Fraud and corruption in the public sector have become issues of increasing importance for the government in the United Kingdom. Numerous initiatives have emerged ranging from high profile publicity campaigns against benefit fraud and tax evasion to the establishment of specialist bodies, such as the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (NHSCFSMS). One of the most interesting developments, however, has been the emergence of the ‘counter fraud specialist (CFS)’ across central and local government, as well as the private sector. These are specially trained civilian personnel who are tasked to prevent, investigate and secure sanctions against fraudsters. They undertake common training packages and are accredited by the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board (CFPAB). This paper first outlines the emergence of the CFS; then draws upon the results of recent survey data to discuss some of their characteristics. The paper also considers some of the main issues raised by the growth of the CFS including the possible emergence of an embryonic ‘fraud police’, the indirect ‘load shedding’ of fraud investigation and the governance of this new breed of policing personnel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-208
Number of pages17
JournalThe International Journal of the Sociology of Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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