Fraud cases on the rise in Suffolk, figures reveal

Fraud cases are up in Suffolk Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Fraud cases are up in Suffolk Picture: GETTY IMAGES - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fraud cases in Suffolk rose by 13% in a year, figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.

There were 3,353 incidents of fraud in the county in the year ending March 2019, according to the crime survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

Fraud offences in Suffolk equate to 9.3% of all recorded crime and 80% was cyber-related.

Essex saw 9,069 fraud cases from April 2018 to March 2019, but this represented a drop of 7% on the previous year.

Cases in the east rose 3% overall to 30,315, the statistics showed.

MORE: Latest on the coronavirusNationally, offences were up 17%, with a rise in consumer and retail fraud and bank and credit card account fraud responsible for the increase, according to the ONS.

Suffolk police said offences in Suffolk are lower than the national average per 1,000 population (7.7 vs 11.1).

A spokeswoman for the force said: “Fraud cases are dealt with in a different way to other forms of crime. Reports of fraud are centrally managed at a national level through Action Fraud and the allocation of investigations can sometimes be protracted.

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“Fraud investigations can be complex, long running, and often involve external financial institutions.

“In addition, each case will be reviewed to determine whether other agencies such as trading standards are best placed to investigate due to their powers or relevant legislation.

“Suffolk Constabulary considers each report before determining if the circumstances are suitable for a criminal investigation. We understand that fraud has a significant impact both on individuals and businesses and work hard to understand this and support victims during these long investigations.”

MORE: Finance manager jailed for stealing £470,000 to fund gambling habitDiana Fawcett, Victim Support chief executive, said: “We are not surprised by new findings, which show a rise in fraud both online and in person.

“Through our work, we have seen more and more people being defrauded by scammers, as increasingly sophisticated methods are being used to deceive people of all ages and backgrounds.

“The psychological and financial impact of the financial loss associated with fraud is significant, and it is vital that anyone affected knows that they are entitled to practical and emotional support.”

“Anybody who has been affected by fraud can access free and confidential help via Victim Support’s website or via the 24/7 support line on 0808 16 89 111.”

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