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A new report, The Fraud ‘Justice Systems’: A Scoping Study on the Civil, Regulatory and Private Paths to ‘Justice’ for Fraudsters, recently launched by the Nuffield Foundation, highlights the complexity of fraud as a crime and its ‘peculiar nature’.
Importantly, the report explores in detail three of the non-criminal paths to justice when dealing with fraudsters.
When access to the criminal justice system is prevented or delayed, punishing fraudsters can be challenging. The nature, impact and response to fraud differs from many other crimes and the path to justice for victims is not limited to one route.
In fact, there are several routes available and until now, there has been little research and investigation undertaken to understand them. They include:
The University of Portsmouth Centre for Counter Fraud Studies conducted the research and was led by Professor Mark Button, Dr David Shepherd and Dean Blackbourn.
Professor Mark Button explains; “This report highlights the innovative ways being used across all sectors to bring fraudsters to justice beyond the criminal justice system. It reveals that when confronted with a fraudster and where criminal prosecution is going to be difficult to achieve, there are other options to consider.
“For example, fraud could be used as evidence to discipline the offender and there are fraudster databases. These certainly play an important preventative role but can also be used as a form of punishment, which aids deterrence”.
The extent to which non-criminal measures have grown in recent years is significant. This is reflected in the report, which found that there are ‘thousands of people sanctioned outside the criminal justice system each year for fraud related offences; indeed, many more than are dealt with by the criminal justice system.’
Below is a useful list of fraudster databases from the report:
The CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre welcomes this new report. It sheds light on a growing area of interest to the public sector namely, how should fraudsters and fraud-related behaviours be penalised when access to the criminal justice system is prevented.
To download a copy of the full and summary reports relating to the research, click on the links below.
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