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Call for Evidence

Fraud and the Justice System

Fraud is now the largest crime type in the UK, with estimates suggesting that it now represents 50% of all crime. Despite being the largest crime type in the UK, frauds are rarely subject to successful prosecution, with criminal investigation and prosecution often limited to the most serious cases. The increasing use of online platforms during the Covid-19 pandemic has boosted the number of small-scale frauds targeting the British public, with more than 875,000 frauds being reported to Action Fraud in 2020-21.

Tacking fraud is a priority for both the government and bodies working within the Criminal Justice System. A specific fraud action plan for 2022-25 from the government is expected shortly, and the Crown Prosecution Service has developed an economic crime strategy focused on the successful prosecution of these crimes.

In this short inquiry, the Justice Committee will examine the Justice System’s ability to effectively prosecute fraud cases. It will look to examine barriers to the successful prosecution of fraud and highlight possible improvements that could sit within commitments made to improve the response to fraud.

Please send submissions of no more than 3,000 words through the online portal by 24 January 2022.

Terms of Reference

  • How the Justice System conducts fraud investigations and prosecutions;
  • The roles of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office in the prosecution of fraud;
  • The experience of the impact and prosecution of fraud among those working in the legal system and victims of fraud;
  • Plans to tackle rising instances of fraud, particularly the rise of fraud facilitated online;
  • The prosecution of frauds that are not of sufficient scale to be investigated by the Serious Fraud Office;
  • Problems with evidence and disclosure in the prosecution of fraud cases;
  • What can be done to make it easier to investigate frauds conducted on the UK public from abroad;
  • Progress in relation to the Government’s Fraud Strategy and the Crown Prosecution Service’s Economic Crime Strategy.

In line with the general practice of select committees the Justice Committee is not able to take up individual cases. If you would like political support or advice you may wish to contact your local Member of Parliament.

If you wish to report a fraud or cybercrime please contact Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime.


If you’ve been a victim of a fraud, the following organisations may be able to offer support or further information:

Victim Support - can provide emotional and practical help to victims of crimes and scams.

Samaritans – General support for everyone. Call 116 123 - 24 hours a day, every day  

Citizens Advice - For independent, free advice provided by a network of charities online, over the phone and in person on a wide variety of issues including benefits, work, debt, housing, family and immigration.


This call for written evidence has now closed.

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