Acting DCI Craig Mullish says IFED has been operating “beyond optimal capacity”

IFED’s chief inspector has confirmed that the unit is scaling back its business as it comes to terms with the demand.

Sources said on Friday that IFED had been struggling with the demand, due to limited resources.

Now, acting detective chief inspector Craig Mullish told Insurance Times that after conducting a review of the case referral process, the unit identified that it was working “beyond the unit’s optimal capacity.”

Craig Mullish

Acting detective chief inspector of IFED, Craig Mullish

He said: “The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) is dedicated to tackling insurance fraud and, while working closely with the insurance industry, has achieved some terrific results since it began, including 433 convictions leading to 239 years in custodial sentences.

“Despite this, after recently conducting a review of our case referral process, it was identified that we’re operating beyond the unit’s optimal capacity.”

Mullish said that, as a result, the unit is scaling back on the number of cases it currently accepts.

“As such, we have taken the decision to scale back on the cases we’ve currently accepted to ensure that we can continue to operate at maximum efficiency and continue to produce the positive results we have done over the last seven years.”

Prioritising the most urgent cases

The unit has not shut the door on all new referrals, but has said that it will be more critical and analytical when deciding which cases to take on.

Mullish continued.“Moving forward, so that we’re not in this position again, we have reviewed our case acceptance criteria, further ensuring that relevant cases are accepted in line with the Insurance Fraud Strategic Threat Assessment, coupled with IFED’s optimal capacity.”

Preventative action

But Mullish reiterated that IFED tries not to work solely in a reactive manner, only carrying out enforcement parts of fraud. It also does a lot of work to raise awareness in the public domain of the risks surrounding fraud.

“As well investigating cases and prosecuting insurance fraudsters, IFED also works proactively to help prevent members of the public becoming victims of fraud from the outset.

“We achieve this through national awareness campaigns and media activity, and most recently we ran our national #SteerClearofFraud campaign to warn drivers about the dangers of fraudsters who pose as legitimate brokers and sell fake car insurance to unsuspecting victims.”