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The Silent Threat: The Impact of Fraud on UK National Security

Helena Wood, Tom Keatinge, Keith Ditcham and Ardi Janjeva
Occasional Papers, 26 January 2021
Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, Organised Crime and Policing, AML/CTF, UK, National Security, Organised Crime
This paper explores the impact of fraud on the UK's national security landscape, and sets out the case for adopting a fundamentally different pathway for responding to the problem.

Fraud against UK citizens, businesses and the UK public purse has reached epidemic levels – it is the ‘ volume crime of our time’. 

Driven in part by growing public disquiet over the current response to fraud, 2020 saw increased political attention on the issue. The prevailing political narrative, however, fails to convey the full impact of fraud on the UK, beyond the perspective of financial losses or the psychological impact on victims. Furthermore, continued under-resourcing of the fraud response means that political rhetoric fails to match operational reality. The fraud response is seen as continuing to fail the individuals, businesses and public bodies which fall victim to it with increasing regularity.

In order to inform a new approach to tackling fraud in the UK, this paper seeks to explore the broader social, economic and criminological impacts of fraud and their particular intersection with the UK national security landscape. In doing so, it sets out the case for adopting a fundamentally different pathway for responding to the problem. 

BANNER IMAGE: Courtesy of andranik123/Adobe Stock.

Helena Wood
Associate Fellow

Helena Wood’s areas of research will focus on the efficacy of Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) powers in the fight against organised crime... read more

Tom Keatinge
Director, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, RUSI

Tom Keatinge is the Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at RUSI, where his research focuses on matters at... read more

Keith Ditcham
(Acting) Director, Organised Crime and Policing / Snr Research Fellow

Keith Ditcham is Senior Research Fellow and (Acting) Director of RUSI’s Organised Crime and Policing Research Group, bringing over 19... read more

Ardi Janjeva
Research Analyst

Ardi is a Research Analyst in organised crime and policing. His research currently focuses on the applications of intelligence and... read more

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