The origins of London lie in the area which is now known as the City, or the ‘Square Mile’. Over the centuries, London has spread outwards. Consequently, there has been policing in one form or another in the area since Roman times. Policing in the City of London was already well-organized by the time the City of London Police was formally established by statute in 1839. Over the years, crime has become more and more sophisticated. One of the major areas of sophisticated crime involves fraud and economic crime.
Banking fraud continues to steadily rise as criminal gangs become increasingly organised. The effects are felt directly by the institutions targeted and indirectly by the customers who see prices rise as a result, or who suffer the consequences of more inconvenient account opening procedures and closer scrutiny of their transactions. Shareholder interests and reputational pressures can counsel a low profile approach, whilst public interest might argue the benefits of full disclosure. Either way, banks must take action – be it discretely or publicly.
Martin Peters is a Detective Sergeant for one of four Fraud Teams in the Economic Crime Department for the City of London Police. He specifically focuses on fraud and large scale enquiries relating to economic crime.
“We are the national lead on fraud and deal with a number of large scale fraud enquiries,” said Peters. “We have a case acceptance criteria relating to what cases we take on. One of the biggest constraints surrounding investigations is police resources. We were recently approached by a high street bank to investigate a major crime relating to cheques and fraudulent accounts in excess of 3 million. This was a sophisticated and complex crime involving several banks and a criminal ring with a bank insider. The bank in question had employed the services of Avertis to investigate the crime on its behalf and pull together an evidence package for the police.”
Working in conjunction with the bank’s own internal team, Avertis began by analyzing daily updates of transactions going through the bank’s accounts, looking for patterns, geographical locations and pulling out threads of corresponding details from other crimes. Avertis consultants are fraud investigation specialists, which include many former senior police officers.
Avertis compiled an evidence package on behalf of the bank that was handed over to the City of London Police. Peters and his team liaised directly with Avertis on an ongoing basis throughout the investigation.
“Avertis provided us with an extremely comprehensive evidence package, consisting of more than 27,000 pages. The standard of what they provided was of an extremely high caliber. I have a very similar case currently under investigation which mirrors this one in terms of size and complexity, but without the same supporting evidence package,” said Peters. “I can confidently say that the work Avertis has delivered has saved the City of London Police at least six to seven months’ worth of work, putting us much further ahead of the game. Avertis did their own investigation and analysis and provided us with both their own conclusions, as well as their suggestions. They provided a better class of service on behalf of the bank, which has resulted in a much stronger and more detailed case.”
Avertis works at the fraud “sharp end” for leading banks and insurance companies. The intelligence they record and analyse provides them with the ability to predict crime patterns and identify offenders ahead of the market.Unlike other risk solutions providers, Avertis is the only company on the market to combine the disciplines of field investigation with a highly sophisticated approach to integrated data. This provides Avertis with the ability to interrogate a wide number of databases in order to provide clear and accurate information and apply these findings to its field investigations.
“This is the first time I have personally ever worked with a third party fraud specialist,” said Peters. “We usually just deal with the bank directly, but they often have the same internal resource constraints as we do. With police resources so scarce, all institutions that are victims of fraud have a vested interest in bringing us better evidence packages. Avertis were easy to work with, and because they have a police background, they understand specifically what we need and are able to do a lot of the time consuming leg work, which lets us progress at a much faster rate.”
Avertis provides a comprehensive range of services designed to deliver optimum risk solutions.
As an information rich, knowledge management group, Avertis has delivered more than 126 million in combined savings and asset recovery for its customers to date. The company has a reputation as one of the most trusted and professional risk solutions specialists in the market.
Avertis customers include major banking and insurance organizations, utilities, telecommunications companies, government bodies, high profile law firms, as well as global travel operators. The company can tailor its services and products to organizations of all types across industry sectors.