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U.K. Fraud Reports Hit 15-Year High as Evidence Work Delays Cops

Fraud in the U.K. rose to 2.1 billion pounds ($2.9 billion), the most in 15 years, as the police commander in charge of fighting the crime said the amount of evidence was setting back investigations.

The value of finance and insurance fraud rose more than tripled to 900 million pounds in the past year, according to a report by accounting firm BDO, which analyzed fraud reports of 50,000 pounds and above. BDO attributed at least part of the increase to higher numbers being reported due to greater confidence in police work.

However, David Clark, the police officer who heads the U.K.’s anti-fraud response, last week told lawmakers that an overload of documentary evidence was setting investigations back.

There is "a problem of large volumes of data faced by investigators and prosecutors," said Jessica Parker, a lawyer at Corker Binning in London. "The problem is pervasive and will only be resolved by resources and transparency starting at the very outset of an investigation right through to trial."

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