Calls for dedicated ‘economic crime courts’

In a report on what it calls an ‘epidemic’ of fraud, MPs on the House of Commons Justice Committee have called for the creation of specialist fraud courts in a bid to combat the “epidemic” of scamming in the UK.

In the report, the Committee claims that of the estimated 4.6 million frauds and scams a year just one in 700 are being prosecuted, with victims facing “considerable delays” of several years to get justice.

It adds that it has heard “compelling proposals for dedicated economic crime courts to ensure there are judges with the right skills to oversee what can often be lengthy and sometimes complex cases”.

The MPs said that although fraud accounts for 40 per cent of crimes, just two per cent of police funding is dedicated to tackling it which is combined with the issues of legal aid funding and the exponential growth in digital evidence.

In addition, the report states that greater engagement between the police, prosecution and defence could also help conclude cases in a timely manner, there was also consideration of a specific crime of failing to prevent fraud and of matching sentences to the harm caused to the victim rather than the monetary amount of the fraud.

Police authorities and the Crown Prosecution Service have backed the plan and ministers are understood to be considering it as part of a major review of fraud.

The first specialist fraud courts are due to be set up in the City of London in 2026 but the Justice Committee recommended they should be expanded to other court centres and, if successful, rolled out nationwide.

Helen Gregory, Forensic Director at Milsted Langdon, said: “Fraud cases are often lengthy and complex and do require experienced experts and forensic accountants to work on them.

“Many law-abiding employees and business owners have been caught up in cases of alleged fraud, so it is essential that they engage the necessary expert assistance as soon as possible to build a robust and reliable defence based on compelling evidence.”



Source(s): Telegraph and

Posted in The Forensic Blog.