The Silent Threat: The Impact of Fraud on UK National Security

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This paper explores the impact of fraud on the UK's national security landscape, and sets out the case for adopting a fundamentally different pathway for responding to the problem.

Fraud against UK citizens, businesses and the UK public purse has reached epidemic levels – it is the ‘ volume crime of our time’. 

Driven in part by growing public disquiet over the current response to fraud, 2020 saw increased political attention on the issue. The prevailing political narrative, however, fails to convey the full impact of fraud on the UK, beyond the perspective of financial losses or the psychological impact on victims. Furthermore, continued under-resourcing of the fraud response means that political rhetoric fails to match operational reality. The fraud response is seen as continuing to fail the individuals, businesses and public bodies which fall victim to it with increasing regularity.

In order to inform a new approach to tackling fraud in the UK, this paper seeks to explore the broader social, economic and criminological impacts of fraud and their particular intersection with the UK national security landscape. In doing so, it sets out the case for adopting a fundamentally different pathway for responding to the problem. 


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Helena Wood

Associate Fellow

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Tom Keatinge

Director, CFCS

Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies

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Keith Ditcham

Senior Research Fellow

Organised Crime and Policing

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Ardi Janjeva

Research Analyst

Organised Crime and Policing

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