Guest blog by third year Law student Bronia Richards 

Terry Greenhow, formerly a DS from Avon and Somerset Economic Crime Team, recently provided a guest lecture to third year commercial law students on his experiences with fraud.

Fraud on average costs the UK economy £193bn per year, equating to more than £6000 lost per second and £3900 lost per adult.[1] With the UK’s weak fraud policy and the government’s seemingly blasé view toward fraud, it is hardly surprising that the public’s perception of is hugely negative.

Fraud is not a victimless crime, and the impact of fraud within our communities can have severe consequences. The 2008-2009 global financial crisis and the role fraud had to play is an example of what can happen if it is not taken seriously.[2]

However, despite the devastating impacts fraud can have, the crime remains a low priority amongst the political classes in the UK.[3]

Terry provided an insight into the true extent of fraud within our communities, highlighting the importance of tackling such a financial crime at all professional levels. Giving just a few examples of fraudulent activities we face on a daily basis, such as identity fraud and charity collection fraud, Terry took the threats posed from a macro level to a micro level.

Terry also provided an insight into his views on the relevant fraud authorities, in particular the Serious Fraud Office. Terry made it clear that he felt the Serious Fraud Office failed to utilise their prosecuting powers effectively, and that a lot more could be done in the fight against fraud in the UK.

[1] ‘Annual Fraud Indicator 2016’ (port.ac.uk, May2016) <http://www.port.ac.uk/media/contacts-and-departments/icjs/ccfs/Annual-Fraud-Indicator-2016.pdf>  accessed 9th March 2017
[2] Mark Button, ‘Fraud, Corruption and the financial crisis.’ (2011) 39(3) International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice 137
[3] Mark Button, ‘Fraud, Corruption and the financial crisis.’ (2011) 39(3) International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice 137