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The DCPCU is a special police unit that consists of police officers, drawn from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, who work alongside industry fraud investigators.


Established in April 2002, the Unit is fully sponsored by the card and retail banking industries. It was created in response to a rapid growth in payment card crime between 1999 and 2001, which experts attributed to the growth of organised crime in this area and the lack of a dedicated police investigatory capacity.

The DCPCU’s national remit is to identify and target the organised criminal gangs responsible for attacking the payment industry.


This model of public-private collaboration has a solid record of results. Since its inception in 2002, the Unit has:

  • Achieved an estimated £450 million in savings from reduced fraud – with the current level of savings equivalent to over £800,000 per week
  • Recovered over 700,000 counterfeit and compromised card numbers
  • Secured 346 convictions on fraud related matters. This is an average of more than one successful prosecution per fortnight over the last eleven years
  • Upheld a conviction rate of 94%

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