Sandra Dexter, said: “While any bid to address the increasing levels of fraud is welcome, we urge the taskforce to put fraud against businesses at the heart of its work. Currently the capacity of law enforcement to effectively deal with fraud lags a long way behind the scale of the crime. Improving this will boost security and peace of mind for small firms and, in doing so, allow them to concentrate on growing their business.
“A national top-down approach will not work in isolation. FSB members call on candidates for Police and Crime Commissioners standing in elections across England in May to make fraud and business crime a central part of their plans to fight crime in their areas. Small businesses have a part to play too. We would encourage smaller firms to always report crime to the police as under-reporting and under-recording of evidence prevents a complete picture, and hinders the right policy solutions being identified.”
The Office of National Statistics set up a large-scale field trial on fraud which was carried out between May and August 2015. Preliminary results from this field trial indicate that:
- There were an estimated 5.1 million incidents of fraud, with 3.8 million adult victims in England and Wales in the 12 months prior to interview; just over half of these incidents involved some initial financial loss to the victim, and includes those who subsequently received compensation in part or full.
- Where a loss was reported, three-quarters (78%) of the victims received some form of financial compensation, and in well over half (62%) they were reimbursed in full.
- In addition to fraud, the field trial estimated there were 2.5 million incidents of crime falling under the Computer Misuse Act, the most common incident where the victim’s computer or other internet enabled device was infected by a virus; it also included incidents where the respondent’s email or social media accounts had been hacked.