Fraud victims get more help

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Police will gain an estimated 500 extra man hours to focus on catching crooks as Lincolnshire has joined a new crime reporting system for fraud.

Nationally criminals fleece the public to the tune of £73billion a year with online shopping and auction fraud being the most common scams.

Lincolnshire Police this week signed up to Action Fraud – a national reporting system, which will see most victims of crime giving details of incidents by phone or website rather than directly to police officers.

Det Sgt Ian Jarman, of Lincolnshire Police’s economic crime unit, said the new system will better serve victims of fraud as well as free up police officers to concentrate on detective work.

He said: “Where the victim is reporting a crime in action, or is assessed to be vulnerable, we will continue to deal with the report as normal.

“But for all other such reports, the victim will make contact with Action Fraud via the telephone or by logging on to its website.

“Based on the experiences of the pilot forces, it is estimated that the new reporting system will save Lincolnshire officers in excess of 500 hours per year from taking reports from alleged victims.

“Clearly, such a system has the potential to save us hundreds of hours filling in reports.

“It provides the public throughout the UK with just one point of reference, and will mean that our time is spent conducting actionable investigations and preventing scams, rip-offs and cons in the first place.”

Action Fraud will send information to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), which will then send out crime details to local forces such as Lincolnshire.

l For more information visit www.actionfraud.police.uk