The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a unique pro-active police unit, with a national remit, formed as a partnership between Financial Fraud Action UK, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police together with the Home Office. It is fully sponsored by the cards and banking industries, with an on-going brief to investigate, target and, where appropriate, arrest and seek successful prosecution of offenders responsible for card, cheque and payment fraud crimes. It is headed up by a Detective Chief Inspector and comprises officers from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside banking industry fraud investigators and support staff.
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 £481 million in savings from reduced fraud.
- Recovered over 800,000 counterfeit and compromised card numbers.
- Secured approximately 502 convictions on fraud related matters.
- Upheld a conviction rate of 86%.The Unit is at the forefront of providing key fraud prevention messages to the public through, for example, television and radio work, and also direct meetings with groups representing consumers who are at higher risk. Examples of this out-reach work include:
- Then Unit has a wider impact owing to the link between fraud and serious and organised crime. Investigations by the Unit have clearly established that a significant proportion of fraud committed by criminal gangs has strong links to other types of serious criminality, including people trafficking, drugs and violent crime.
- Coverage on BBC1’s ‘The One Show’ highlighting awareness tips for staying safe at ATMs
- Interview on BBC1’s Watchdog, BBC Breakfast, 1’o clock News and Radio 5 Live
- ITV Fraud Squad: Crime documentary series following detectives as they pursue criminal gangs involved in making, printing and supplying counterfeit cheques.The DCPCU is headed by a Detective Chief Inspector and contains police officers and civilian staff from the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police forces, which includes an intelligence analyst seconded to NFIB. In addition to the police officers, banking industry knowledge and expertise is provided by industry secondees.1. Staff Integrity – to reduce harm caused by dishonest members of staff involved in organised crime.3. Card Not Present – to identify the criminal groups engaged in this activity, through proactive intelligence led investigations.The work of the Unit has been recognised by Government with presentations recently given to the then Security Minister John Hayes MP and to then Home Secretary Theresa May at the launch of the Joint Fraud Taskforce.Speaking to the City of London Police Committee in November 2013, Home Secretary Theresa May said:”I want to see more partnerships of this type, and I want to see more industry sectors – and public bodies, of course, getting involved.”
- “Many of you will know of the very effective Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, which consists of officers from the Metropolitan and City of London Police. This Unit, which is funded by the banking industry, not only has a 94% conviction rate it also gets out and about, educating bank and retail staff in prevention. “
- Previously Theresa May praised the unit for its effectiveness, while calling on other industry sectors to follow suit in adopting this form of collaborative working with the police – reflecting the success of the DCPCU, as the first unit of its kind.
- 4. Card Skimming / Trapping – the identification of organised criminal groups engaged in this activity, (including Unattended Payment Terminals and ATMs) through proactive intelligence led investigations.
- 2. Social Engineering (telephony) – to identify criminal groups engaged in this major threat, which is targeting largely vulnerable individuals and businesses, thereby causing significant harm to the UK payments industry, both financially and reputationally.
- Current key priority areas for the unit (these are reviewed twice a year) are:
- The primary objective of the DCPCU is: “To investigate, target and, where appropriate, arrest and seek the successful prosecution of offenders identified as responsible for organised cheque and payment card crimes.”