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The Metropolitan Police



The Metropolitan Police, Specialist & Economic Crime Unit, 'Operation ST£RLING' is the Metropolitan Police Service's strategy for combating economic crime in London.

The main emphasis of this strategy is to work together with partners in a proactive interventionist approach to solve the problem of economic crime which costs the UK economy billions of pounds a year.
The Forum initiative, as part of Operation ST£RLING, is bringing commerce together to work as a team, to share intelligence and best practice and to fight economic crime. The work that has been carried out is pioneering and is well supported by commerce. The strategic fraud forum group in each sector acts as the forward ears, eyes and radar for all fraud within their sector, promoting understanding of the commercial threats we face and combating fraud.

The Forum initiative was established and is run by Peter Burns a Detective within the Specialist Crime Directorate. Peter was tasked as an intelligence officer to go out to all of London's commerce and identify the key threats to industry.  Once this was complete, he went into commerce to build up high level strategic fraud forums in each of the 15 sectors identified, aiming to bring companies around the table and to get them to 'open up' and share what fraud they suffered within their sector.
This fraud would then be analysed by the group, broken down to identify the 'enablers', and then to work as a group not only to design out that threat, but also to assess where the fraudsters could go next.  This intelligence and best practice is then cross pollinated across to other sector forums that could be at risk.

'SAFER' has successfully been established, with the Recruitment industry coming together to combat fraud for the first time in their history.
Peter remains as an advisor, facilitator and 'honest broker', protecting commercial confidence, whilst co-ordinating and analysing fraud trends and threats. An important part of the forums role is to share the threats and designed controls within their sector, this is done by having trade associations as forum members in order that information including threats and control measures can be speedily disseminated to all at risk, also reaching the smaller businesses within the sectors.

An other example of a commerce fraud forum known as VSTAG [motor vehicle trade] can be found at www.vstag.edatasite.com. Other forums including Travel and Property are due to be launched in early 2009. Work that has been carried out with the airline industry can be found at www.travelweekly.co.uk.
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