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Roger Williams questions Attorney General over small scale fraud

2013 Mehefin 6 1:08 PM

During questions to the Attorney General in the House of Commons, Roger Williams the MP for Brecon and Radnorshire raised the issue of widespread, smaller cases of fraud on individuals that could be part of more serious operations.

Mr Williams raised the issue following meetings with a number of constituents who had experienced fraud of up to £3000 and had limited success with Action Fraud. In 2010 the Serious Fraud Office was separated from other fraud elements and placed under the control of the Attorney General, with other areas covered by the Home Office.

Speaking in Parliament, Roger asked:

"Has the Serious Fraud Office maintained close and effective working relationships with the fraud departments of the Home Office so that those smaller cases reported to Action Fraud that highlight more widespread and more serious frauds can be prosecuted on behalf of the individuals concerned?

Responding, the Attorney General, the Rt Hon. Dominic Grieve QC MP stated:

"I think there is widespread recognition that smaller fraud, which falls outside the SFO's remit entirely, has long been a Cinderella area for law enforcement. The economic crime command was set up in the National Crime Agency precisely to try to ensure that smaller fraud is dealt with better at a regional policing level and in order to put in place structures to enable that to happen more effectively. It is a subject of legitimate anxiety across the House that fraud problems faced by constituents often cannot be dealt with adequately. The SFO is involved with the economic crime command and sits on the economic crime co-ordination board, so it can provide its professional input."

Commenting after questions, Roger said:

"There was a degree of trepidation surrounding the splitting of fraud and serious fraud between the Attorney General's office and the Home Office three years ago. The answer given however was positive and demonstrates that the two elements do maintain close links and I hope to press Ministers again in the future to ensure that any who do experience fraud of any sort will be adequately looked after and compensated, while those who commit fraudulent acts are brought to justice."