Suspects linked to eight contrived smashes in London

Four people have been arrested in dawn raids by detectives investigating a suspected ‘crash for cash’ gang believed to have deliberately caused collisions on the road in order to profit from phoney insurance claims.

Nine warrants were executed at residential addresses and a business premises in London, Middlesex, Buckinghamshire and Surrey early this morning. Three vehicles were also searched in Middlesex.

The operation follows months of investigation by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) into what are believed to be eight contrived smashes on motorways and dual carriageways in and around east and west London.

In each instance it was reported to police that a driver slammed on their brakes without warning, causing the car behind to go into the back of them. This was followed by the driver making a raft of third party insurance claims including personal injury, vehicle recovery and storage and courtesy cars use.

Sixty police officers were involved in today’s action, with the City of London Police unit supported by colleagues from the force’s Economic Crime Directorate as well as officers from Thames Valley and Metropolitan police forces.

The four people, three men and a woman, were arrested at addresses in Woking, Northolt, West Drayton and Slough on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.

IFED deputy head DI Ben Flannaghan said: “Deliberately causing car crashes on our roads to make money through fraudulent insurance claims is a serious crime which also has the potential to cause grave harm to innocent motorists.

“Today’s operation is further evidence of how IFED and law enforcement colleagues are working together to come down hard on anyone they suspect of being involved in this practice in whatever part of the country they may be hiding.

“It also demonstrates that IFED is a vital component of industry’s response to fraudsters and protection of honest policy holders.”