Politicians heard how regional policing of insurance fraud has suffered following the success of the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department
The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) has been labelled a ‘victim of its own success’ at an All Party Group committee hearing on insurance fraud.
Credit Hire Organisation chairman Steve Evans made the comment after criticising policing standards for investigating insurance fraud.
“IFED is a victim of its own success,” he said. “One of the problems with IFED taking on the major national lead and insurance fraud supremoes is that the bobbies in Warwickshire immediately seek to defer the case to IFED [but we cannot get the cases accepted].
“The forces [we have taken arrests to] seem bemused about what to do and incapable of taking it to the next level.”
The meeting, chaired by Jonathan Evans MP, also heard how credit hire organisations were struggling to get any meaningful action from local police forces as well as IFED, who is the national lead for insurance fraud.
Steve Evans, himself a former policeman, told the All Party Group that there had been examples of arrests being made for insurance fraud that were not taken further as a result of the lack of knowledge of local forces.
“Anything we present to the police now is incapable of being arrested,” he said. “We are incapable of persuading the police to react and IFED is unable to take reports from non-ABI insurers simply because the funding arrangements dictates where they can take cases from.”
He also added that insurance fraud was costing Accident Exchange, of which he is chief executive, £300,000 to £500,000 a year.
IFED’s Maria Woodall said local forces should be aware of fraud profiles for their area and, despite admitting austerity measures had caused problems with police resources, that they should be capable of pursuing cases.
It was recommended by Jonathan Evans that the All Party Working Group write to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to raise the issue with them, and see what measures can be put in place to combat the problem.