Police Recover £3.4 Million Cars Stolen by Finance Fraud


A unique partnership between the police and the finance industry has saved nearly £3.5 million in the  last 12 months by recovering cars fraudulently obtained on  car finance. The recoveries mean the industry suffers fewer losses and keeps costs down for motorists.

Since  September 2009, the Vehicle Fraud  Unit  of  the Association  of  Chief Police Officers' (ACPO) Vehicle Crime  Intelligence Service (AVCIS) has  recovered  200 cars  worth £3.4 million on behalf of FLA member  motor finance  companies and has arrested over 60  fraudsters for the associated crimes.

AVCIS  was  established in 2007 using  private  funding from  the  Finance & Leasing Association.  FLA members provide  finance  to consumers and businesses  for  the purchase of cars. Since its inception three years  ago, the AVCIS police officers have recovered £12.4 million-worth of cars obtained using fraudulent motor finance.

As  a  result of AVCIS' continued success, the FLA  has agreed  to  sponsor  the unit for a fourth consecutive year.

Paul  Harrison, Head of Motor Finance at the Finance  & Leasing Association, welcomed the continued partnership with AVCIS: "By catching fraudsters our partnership with the police is  helping motor lenders to stay competitive and  pass on   cost   savings  on  to  their  customers   through affordable  finance deals. During the recession,  while budgets  remain  tight, it's especially important  that the fraudulent actions of a few do not result in higher repayments for law-abiding motorists. Finance fraud  is not  a  victimless  crime  - it  costs  money  for  the lenders, the police and the driving public at large.

"We  continue  to highlight the Unit's success  to  the Home  Office and make the case for continued Government funding  in this important area. I would like to  thank everyone  at  AVCIS  for all of their  hard  work  this year."

Head  of  the  Vehicle Fraud Unit  at  AVCIS,  DI  Andy MacKay, said: "I'd  like  to thank the FLA and its members for  their continued support of our work to combat vehicle  fraud. Not   only   are  we  recovering  fraudulently-obtained vehicles  for  their legal owners, but we  are  denying criminals  the  use  of what appear  to  be  legitimate vehicles, sending a clear message to fraudsters -  that they will be caught."


The  FLA is the leading trade association for the motor finance  sector in the UK. In 2009 FLA members financed £72.5  billion  of  new business. FLA members  provided £16.5   billion   of   motor  finance   in   2009 and financed more than 47% of all new car registrations  in the UK.

The ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS)  is a  national police unit dedicated to investigating and recovering    fraudulently-obtained    vehicles,    and prosecuting  offenders.  The  FLA  has  sponsored   the Vehicle  Fraud  Unit  of  AVCIS since  September  2007. Acting   as   the  eyes  and  ears  for   the   police, contributing  finance  companies  are  able  to  report suspected   fraudulent   cases   to   the   unit    for investigation and recovery.

AVCIS was set up in December 2006, following closure of the  National  Criminal Intelligence  (NCIS) Service's Organised  Vehicle Crime Section when NCIS merged  into the  Serious Organised Crime Agency. The Vehicle  Fraud Unit began operations in September 2007.

Following  the  success  of  this  pilot  scheme,   the Metropolitan Police Service agreed to participate in a public/private  partnership with the FLA  and  launched the  Met  Vehicle Fraud Unit in September  2001, again funded by FLA members. The Met VFU recovered cars worth over  £10.5  million,  and  made  around  300 arrests. Investigations  have  revealed  links  between  vehicle finance fraud and other serious offences, such as  the unlawful   possession  and  trafficking  of  controlled drugs.


More at www.fla.org.uk




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