Preventing Business Crime, Fraud and Cybercrime
The increased dangers of fraud and cybercrime since the pandemic are being shared with businesses and communities across Essex.
With an increase in online activity and higher levels of social isolation due to Covid-19, there was an increase of 26 per cent in the number of cybercrime or cyber enabled crimes reported in the 12 months leading to December 2021, compared to the 12 months leading to December 2022.
At the same time, due to the lower levels of social interactions, there was also a reduction in face-to-face fraud of 22 per cent.
In 2021, these offences accounted for 10,883 cases, the majority received via Action Fraud (the national fraud reporting process).
A total of 63 per cent of these cases were cyber enabled, 93 per cent were against individual victims and seven per cent were against organisations.
While the reported financial loss to victims in Essex is £45.2m, the impact of these crimes is more significant with businesses suffering loss of earnings while they cannot operate effectively, and victims suffering emotional turmoil.
Essex Police builds awareness of the dangers of fraud and cybercrime and how individuals and businesses can protect themselves from becoming victims.
The force’s Fraud Prevention Officers also work with victims to provide advice and guidance to help to build resilience and provide warnings around scams and threats.
Regular fraud alerts were introduced in 2019, growing in importance during the pandemic as a way of highlighting specific scams.
The Essex Chambers of Commerce-chaired Business Crime Strategic Board provides strategic level support and engagement with the Essex Police Business Crime Team to help share best practice, identify areas of focus and build resilience within the business community.
The Strategic Business Board also has a wider role working with the Business Crime Team in tackling all business crime, identifying areas of focus, establishing relationships between the police and business community, and supporting proactive operations to target persistent offenders and disrupt repeat patterns of criminal activity, such as shoplifting.
You can read more in our annual report.
Page published on 02/02/2023