Industry and police must work closer to prevent fraud says techUK

Increased complexity of cyber crime means police no longer hold all the data they need, says report, and better mechanisms for data sharing are essential

Technology industry association techUK has called on the Police to make better use of technology to help prevent fraud, by increased collaboration with the technology industry.

In a briefing paper published this month, the association discusses how police and other bodies charged with investigation can improve fraud prevention using natural language processing, automated analytics and open source intelligence analysis. 

The report is based on the outcomes of a techUK event earlier this year, which saw senior police officers, civil servants and technology industry leaders convene to discuss fraud prevention.
It also suggests closer working between industry and law enforcement and the development of a model to encourage the sharing of data and tools, starting with open APIs between systems to share threat data.

To address the problems it identifies, techUK now plans to investigate the establishment of secondments between the Police and the technology industry to share expertise, encourage adoption of digital identity verification tools and explore the viability of setting up an action group to develop open standards for interoperability.

The most recent statistics from the Crime Survey of England and Wales showed that fraud is the most commonly experienced crime in the UK. 

But, says the report, despite this and the increasing technological competence of criminals, the ability of the police to tackle the threat is limited. There is increased government focus on fraud, however, the additional resources required for fraud investigation may not be available, subject to the outcomes of the next Spending Review.

“Police effectiveness will be helped by the delivery of some national programmes,” the paper says. “The Digital Intelligence and Investigation Programme and National Law Enforcement Data Programme will facilitate the sharing of data within policing. But there is more to do across agencies.

“Traditionally, the police held the intelligence they needed within policing but now – with the increasing complexities of cyber and internet-enabled fraud – much more of the data that policing needs sits outside of its control.”

The problem is exacerbated by a lack of interoperability between technology systems, says the paper. “Sharing data is an operational priority but a combination of factors make it difficult. Some of these relate to interpretation of the legislative framework, but others are technological – the unwillingness of all technology companies to work collaboratively with open APIs, etc,” the paper says.

Sam Trendall

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