Working with police forces

I have provided expert accounting advice to a number of police forces around the UK including Humberside Police, Northumbria Police, Cleveland Police, North Yorkshire Police and Merseyside Police forces.

I pride myself in being able to provide fixed price expert accounting input and investigation assistance within forces’ limited available budgets. I am also happy to provide free of charge training sessions to officers in forensic accounting or other accountancy subjects.

I am always on the end of the phone for general accounting queries, and if I do not immediately know the answer I undertake to soon find the information you need.

Visit any police web site and you will find the contact details for reporting a crime. This includes fraud. The first port of call should be the police because it is their responsibility to investigate crime, making a case for its prosecution through the courts.

Fraud Resource Constraints

The police are the first to admit they are under resourced when it comes to fraud! Targets imposed upon them for “more important” crime must come first – rape, murder, burglary, unsocial behaviour etc….

Unfortunately fraud has often been viewed as a victimless crime – greedy individuals being conned into parting with some of their excesses. The truth is far from this, for example with fraudsters targeting the weak and elderly for their life savings or lives being destroyed by company collapse due to fraud.

There are moves to strengthen the effectiveness of the police in dealing with fraud throughout the UK – the establishment of the National Fraud Reporting Centre and the training of dedicated financial investigators.

However, the police still cannot investigate and fully deal with every fraud reported to them.

The solution

You must present the police with a comprehensive report of the fraud supported by facts, figures and evidence. Given a fraud clearly presented in this way, they are much easier able to employ their scarce resources in dealing with your problem. But take care!

The police may often ask you for fuller information, or a more clearly presented case, before they will act.  However, you must take care when investigating the problem yourself in order to do this. Things you must consider are:

  • The way in which you deal with staff – do not leave yourself open to employment claims by treating them inappropriately!
  • Obtaining evidence – do not compromise any criminal investigation by inappropriate evidence handling! For example, simply turning a suspect employee’s computer on “for a quick look” could render it inadmissible as evidence later on.

Remember – the police are not allowed to simply go round to the suspect’s house and threaten for the money back – neither are you! If you follow this course of action you may find yourself on the receiving end of an expensive suit for wrongful or constructive dismissal – while the fraudster walks away free!

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About Mark Jenner

Mark Jenner is an experienced forensic accountant specialising in fraud and white collar criminal matters. He provides independent financial investigation and expert accounting witness services to police forces, fraud regulators and criminal defence lawyers, also providing assistance and solutions to organisations embroiled in financial disputes.

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