New campaign to stop firms becoming victims of fraud to be launched in South West

November 19, 2021

Bath businesses are partnering with the police, banking sector and specialists to spearhead a new crackdown on fraud in the South West.

They have come together to re-launch the South West Fraud Forum (SWFF), which is dedicated to helping prevent businesses and individuals becoming victims of the crime. 

The organisation will be holding regular events to increase the resilience against fraud of private and public sectors organisations in the region.

Fraud costs the UK billions of pounds a year and is now believed to account for 40% of all crime committed.

SWFF brings together professional advisors, industry members and the police as well as other governmental agencies in a single, formal body to support and learn from the region’s business community.

Helen Gregory, forensic director at regional accountancy group Milsted Langdon, which has an office in Bath, is a member of the steering group that has re-launched the initiative.

It will hold its inaugural meeting and webinar on 2 December when it will set out how SWFF can help businesses, as well as hearing from keynote speakers, including: 

  • Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon & Somerset Mark Shelford, who is also APCC national lead for economic and cyber crime,
  • Bank of England South West agent Malindi Myers,
  • TSB Bank fraud investigations and intelligence manager Paul Carroll.

Helen, pictured, said: “Businesses, their owners and employers are a common target for fraudsters, and so we have re-launched SWFF to help combat fraud in the region and provide a supportive environment for companies to seek support and advice.”

Mark Shelford added: “One in 10 people fall victim to fraud and one in three become a repeat victim.

“It is because of such figures that I was inspired to take on the role of APCC lead for economic and cyber crime. I feel that this is an area of work where I can make the most difference to the lives of residents of Avon and Somerset and beyond.

“I want to make sure that the profile type of this life-destroying crime is raised. We need to get a grip of it and protect vulnerable people from harm.”

To find out more about this event and to book a place, click here

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