The Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU), a bank-sponsored police squad, has claimed that its work to target organised fraud gangs led to estimated savings of £24.5m in 2009. Publication of this latest figure coincides with the eighth anniversary of the unit, which was set up on 29 April 2002.
This sum helped to contribute to the reduction in annual card fraud losses announced by the banking industry last month. Total card fraud losses in 2009 decreased by £160m from the previous year, amounting to £440.3m.
Over the past eight years, the unit has prevented an estimated £340m of card and cheque fraud losses, which means on average they have saved over £3.5m of losses per month.
The unit comprises 20 officers seconded from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside a team of banking industry fraud investigators.
In 2009, the DCPCU:
- Recovered 9,700 counterfeit cards (and more than 54,000 over the past eight years).
- Recovered 29,300 compromised card numbers (more than 319,000 over the past eight years).
- Secured 31 convictions on fraud related matters (more than 270 over the past eight years).
Detective Chief Inspector John Osibote, who leads the DCPCU, said: “With fraud loss savings estimated at £3.5m per month, the unit has been instrumental in helping drive down card fraud. We want to send out a loud and clear message to the organised criminal gangs who are behind the lion’s share of fraud on UK cards that we can, and will, track them down.”
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