A new team dedicated to targeting organised fraud and money laundering in the East Midlands is now fully operational.
The regional Proactive Economic Crime Team (PECT) will support forces in pursuing and prosecuting organised crime groups and those who benefit from their criminal activity.
Utilising criminal and civil powers, PECT is a proactive team with the sole intention of causing maximum disruption to fraud criminal networks.
The initiative of the team is to tackle one of the highest crime threats to the UK that affects many millions of people each year including businesses, vulnerable and repeat victims.
The team will focus on crimes such as courier fraud and romance fraud, with the intention of centralising a regional response to these offences and aim to pursue and disrupt organised crime groups operating within our region and also nationally alongside other teams.
Courier fraud (when a victim is conned into handing over money, bank cards or other expensive items to someone after a phone call or who has called at their property in-person), and romance fraud (when a fraudster feigns romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection and then using their goodwill to get them to send money) are two types of crime that can see people out of their life savings and can happen to anyone, not just vulnerable people.
Senior Criminal Finance Manager Doug Ing said: “Organised crime groups have long operated within our region with the intention of causing significant harm to our communities and businesses. This new team will support national, regional and local proactive operations to tackle organised crime groups involved in organised crime and money laundering.”
The PECT will utilise both criminal and civil powers to target organised criminals in order to seize and deny their assets, cause disruption, and confiscate items from those who benefit from their suspected criminal activities.
DS Jason Gregory added: “This is an exciting time within EMSOU whereby a dedicated regional response can now be provided to forces, in targeting organised criminals who prey on the most vulnerable within our communities.
“As a region we will work alongside our colleagues on the national network and relentlessly pursue these organised crime groups and to make the East Midlands region a difficult place for them to operate within. Furthermore, the ROCU is able to support the fantastic work already established by protect colleagues within forces, in order to safeguard our communities from harm and the threat of further harm.”