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Finance industry and trading standards unite with police to tackle fraud in Dorset

Alert message sent 13/12/2017 12:09:00

Information sent on behalf of Dorset Alert

Ground breaking rapid response scheme – the Banking Protocol – means local branch staff can alert police and trading standards to suspected fraud taking place.

The scheme was launched in Dorset in June 2017. Since then almost £140,000 of fraud has been prevented.

Figures from UK Finance show that nationally, the protocol has stopped more than £9 million being passed to criminals in its first year of operation and 101 arrests have been made.

This fraud prevention scheme is aimed at identifying and protecting potential fraud victims when they visit a bank or building society branch.

The Banking Protocol, developed as a partnership between the finance industry, police and trading standards, enables bank staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with a rapid response to the branch.

The Banking Protocol was first launched in October 2016 with a pilot in London before a national rollout began in May. Dorset Police launched the scheme in June.

It is in place in 43 police forces across the country, with all remaining forces in the UK committed to introducing it.

Nationally, in the 12 months since the pilot was launched until the end of October 2017, the Banking Protocol has prevented £9.1 million of fraud, with individual customers protected from losing sums from £99 up to £212,000.

So far, the scheme has led to 101 arrests being made across the country, with police responding to a total of 1,262 Banking Protocol calls.

Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said: “Fraud can have a devastating effect on some of the most susceptible people in society and it’s by working together with law enforcement, and others, that we can make a real difference when it matters most.

"The Banking Protocol is a great example of this collaboration in action, protecting people from becoming victims. The finance industry is determined to crack down on fraud and is taking action on all fronts - the protocol is an important weapon in our armoury.”

UK Finance has led the development and implementation of the Banking Protocol with support from the National Trading Standards Scam team and the Joint Fraud Taskforce. As well as stopping frauds taking place, the scheme ensures a consistent response to potential victims and gives them extra support to prevent them becoming a victim in the future. The Post Office is also part of the Protocol.

Detective Inspector Neil Wright from the Volume Crime Team in Dorset said: “This scheme is part of a larger force campaign designed to identify and support vulnerable residents of Dorset and prevent them from becoming victims of fraud.

"We aim to raise awareness of fraud within our communities through our Neighbourhood Policing Teams and the media, encouraging people to take preventative steps.

"The banking protocol will ensure banks and police are more active in protecting customers by spotting scams before any money has been handed over. This will go a long way to reducing financial crime."
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Communications Team (Dorset Police, CED, Dorset)

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