Culture secretary

UK has too many agencies responsible for fraud, says former Culture Secretary

Sunday, November 13, 2022 6:55 p.m.

Fraud is the most widespread crime in Britain, with crooks taking over £1billion each year.

The UK needs a more streamlined way to tackle fraud instead of relying on the ‘alphabet soup’ of agencies that currently operate, Baroness Nicky Morgan has said.

Morgan, a former digital and culture secretary, said the UK is a ‘world leader’ in digital fraud and there are ‘far too many agencies, regulators and bodies’ involved in his supervision.

The House of Lords Fraud Act 2006 and Digital Fraud Committee, which Morgan chairs, released a 190-page report into the fraud on Saturday.

He found that Britain’s justice system was ill-equipped to tackle fraud, making the country a “lucrative market” for foreign scammers.

The report says law enforcement is “chronically underfunded for the fight” and that “only 1% of law enforcement is focused on fighting economic crime.”

Fraud is the most widespread crime in Britain, with crooks taking over £1billion each year.

Morgan told Times Radio Today: ‘We know that if there are a lot of different bodies, that ultimately, you know, responsibility can be transferred or diverted to someone else.

“You have to have a mechanism where all these different bodies can’t, they have to come together, they have to be tasked by the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary down, it’s a problem, you have to work together to solve it.

She also called for a “fraud-themed cabinet sub-committee” to be chaired by Security Minister Tom Tugendhat.

Tugendhat stated in the Fraud Act 2006 and the Digital Fraud Committee report that the UK is “one of the very few jurisdictions in the world that allows near instant money transfers”.

He said that means “you can defraud someone quickly and therefore have access to the money immediately” and then “transfer it to 20 or 30 other bank accounts”.

The Government’s Online Safety Bill, currently before Parliament, will require social media companies and search engines “to prevent paid fraudulent advertisements from appearing on their services”.