Action Fraud is the national reporting point for fraud and cyber crime.
Crime reports received by Action Fraud are considered by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), both of which are operated by the City of London Police, the UK’s lead force for fraud. Reports are evaluated to assess the information available that could assist an investigation. Where there is enough evidence available and a viable lead, actionable intelligence packages are created and sent to the appropriate local police force to consider whether enforcement activity should take place. Action Fraud does not investigate any cases.
Demand into Action Fraud continues to rise. Action Fraud report that there are approximately 1,000 additional crime reports being reported per month, compared with 12 months ago. From the Crime Survey for England and Wales we are aware that the nature of this type of crime is changing; the Survey from October 2017 estimates that there were 10.8 million fraud and computer misuse offences in the year ending June 2017.
The increase in demand and some recruitment delays have led to a backlog in assessing crimes reported, and therefore in disseminating them to local police forces. City of London Police are monitoring this. All crime reports are still being automatically assessed. The Home Office Chairs the Action Fraud/ NFIB Tactical Governance Group, which scrutinises performance, including Action Fraud reporting and NFIB referrals.
The cyber threats we face continue to grow in scale and sophistication, which is why we continue to invest in fraud and cyber crime. The Action Fraud/ NFIB grant has increased from £6,943,000 in 2016/17 to £8,000,000 in 2017/18. City of London Police also receive National Cyber Security Programme funding. This has increased from £3,153,296 in 2016/17 to £4,801,300 in 2017/18.
The Home Office have also invested in a new IT analytics engine for the Action Fraud / NFIB capability, which is expected to improve the reporting and reviewing process. It is due to go live in 2018. The victim reporting process will be greatly improved through the implementation of a streamlined, more intuitive online portal for crime reporting and individuals will be able to 'track my crime' for the first time. Also, the analytics engine within the NFIB will be significantly upgraded, and we will see more automation of scoring, more disseminations to forces, and better identification of vulnerable victims. The system will also be linked live with forces, so data, and intelligence is shared in real time.