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City's fraud unit secures 239 years in jail

City's fraud unit secures 239 years in jail

The City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department revealed it has secured 239 years in custodial sentences as it celebrates its seven-year anniversary this month (January 2019).

Since its inception in 2012, the department has convicted 433 insurance fraudsters, leading to 239 years in custodial sentences, 108 years in suspended sentences, 13,355 hours in community orders and more than £100,000 in fines.

The unit has also achieved 1,140 additional outcomes, including 489 cautions/conditional cautions. 

The department, which is jointly funded by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Corporation of Lloyd's, is a specialist police unit dedicated to tackling insurance fraud.

It is committed to addressing high volume and organised criminality.

The unit works in collaboration with multiple law enforcement agencies, together with insurers and the Insurance Fraud Bureau who provide information and intelligence that assists with the department's key objective of prosecuting insurance fraudsters. 

In addition, the department is responsible for helping to prevent members of the public becoming victims of fraud, through the use of national media campaigns to raise awareness of the different types of insurance fraud and the harms associated with it.

In the last year alone, the department's investigations have led to numerous fraudsters being jailed, including a woman who exploited the Grenfell Tower fire, Manchester Arena bombing and London Bridge terror attack to make fraudulent claims. 

Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish, acting head of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said: “The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department continues to evolve to counter the ever-changing threat posed by insurance fraudsters, and has achieved some terrific results since it began.

"While some may think insurance fraud is a victimless crime, this simply isn’t the case. It costs the insurance industry billions each year, which in turn raises the cost of premiums for everyone.

“On top of this, some types of insurance, such as ‘crash for cash’ and ghost broking, bring the public into direct contact with the harms associated with insurance fraud.”

Ryan Smith, corporation financial crime manager of Lloyd’s, said: "Insurance is based on trust – that we will pay valid claims when policyholders need us to. Fraud undermines this trust, so it is vital we stamp it out."

emma.hughes@ft.com