Public health approach needed to tackle fraud says West Midlands PCC - The Solihull Observer

Public health approach needed to tackle fraud says West Midlands PCC

Solihull Editorial 17th Mar, 2023   0

PRIMARY school teachers, doctors, social workers, and even group leaders will need to help tackle fraud in the West Midlands.

That’s according to a Cardiff University report that’s been published by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Simon Foster.

The report claims a public health approach is needed, which means more organisations, professionals and community groups must work together to educate potential fraud victims about the dangers that are out there.

At the moment police, banks and some charities mainly raise awareness about fraud, but according to the university report, that needs to be broadened out to include many more people.

Michael Levi, a Professor of Criminology at Cardiff University and the report author, said: “Frauds are neighbourhood crimes that attack people of all generations and though there are excellent websites and guides, we cannot afford to leave it to government to spread the message.

“Schools, families and friends need to have conversations and reduce isolation and sometimes the shame of being a victim to prevent frauds and be more resilient.”

The PCC says fraud is the fifth most reported crime in the West Midlands, which is thought to be around one in 12 people fall victim to fraud every year, with half of all individual fraud victims lose less than £80 and three quarters lose less than £250

Mr Foster, said: “I welcome the report as an important contribution to the prevention and tackling of fraud.

“That is because the prevention of fraud will always be better than having to deal with the consequences of fraud.

“Sadly, thousands of people in the West Midlands are victims of fraud every year and not enough is being done to prevent and tackle it, or bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Cardiff University have concluded that a public health approach is needed. That means far more people becoming involved in education and raising awareness of the dangers that exist and helping and supporting people who are most vulnerable to stay safe.”


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