Fraud offences rise in Scotland

A police chief has said technological advances have made work easier for fraudsters, with new figures showing an increase in the crime across Scotland.
A police chief has said technological advances have made work easier for fraudsters, with new figures showing an increase in the crime across Scotland.
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A police chief has said technological advances have made work easier for fraudsters, with new figures showing an increase in the crime across Scotland.

Between April and June overall offences were fewer than the five-year, average however there was a slight increase on the previous year.

Police Scotland recorded 62,922 between April and June compared with 62,494 during the same period in 2017.

Fraudulent crimes grew from 1,955 during the quarter in 2017 to 2,584 this year, while detection rates fell from around 41% to 34%.

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said: “Advances in technology pose an increased vulnerability when tackling fraud and we have seen an increasing trend in online fraud and crimes involving contactless payments.

“With this form of technology, stolen cards can be monetised quickly and easily while online shopping also allows cloned cards and stolen card details to be used fraudulently.

“However, we are investing in resources and equipping officers with the necessary skills to tackle this growing area of criminality.

“We are also working ever more closely with our banking colleagues. New work in this area is actively preventing fraud through the banking protocol which allows us to protect those who are vulnerable to financial crime.

Read more: Backlash over RBS bank chief’s online fraud remarks

“Between April and June 2018, £1.05 million was prevented by bank and police teams protecting vulnerable, often elderly, account holders.”

Violent crime is down 2.4% year-on-year with common assaults down by 2.7% and serious assaults down 5.2%.

The Performance Summary and Quarter 1 Management Information reports provide information about the force and recorded crime across the country, but are not classed as official statistics.

Mr Graham added: “The reduction in both common and serious assaults is to be welcomed and the success in this area is not only because of police effort and focus.

“We have established a National Violence Prevention Board to better understand violent crime and what we can do to tackle it.

“We recognise it is a complex issue and we engage with partners across health, education, government and the licensed trade on a number of initiatives to address alcohol-related violence.

“It is encouraging that domestic housebreakings, which can cause considerable distress to victims, are at their lowest level for five years.”

Read more: Scotland’s cases of fraud against businesses fall by half