National anti-fraud centre due next year

The Attorney General's Office for England and Wales wants the National Fraud Reporting Centre to collate reports of both cyber and traditional types of crime

A national centre to co-ordinate strategy for combating fraud in England and Wales should be in place by next year.

The Attorney General's Office for England and Wales (AGO) wants a National Fraud Reporting Centre to collate reports of all types of fraud — both cyber and traditional — to pinpoint levels of fraud across the two countries.

By identifying patterns of fraudulent activity and linking disparate cases the centre would set priorities for fraud policing, focus major fraud investigations and stop information from slipping through the gaps between different agencies.

The AGO hopes the centre will go live by summer 2009 and is in talks with the Information Commissioner's Office and other national bodies about the proposals.

A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office said: "A proof-of-concept model is being developed and will be tested from the summer, for six months, with aim to identify what information is not being compared currently and join up information that may be held currently by one party for specific internal purposes."

The National Fraud Strategic Authority will become operational later this year and recruitment for a National Lead Force to counter fraud is expected to be complete by the end of summer this year.

The model will examine how the centre could capture, store and share information between government, law enforcement and other parties and provide a guide as to how much the centre will cost.

Data-security issues will also be examined as part of the model and the centre going live next year will depend on the success of the trial model.

The chief of e-crime for the Metropolitan Police Service, Charlie McMurdie, revealed last week she expected government funding for a national cybercrime unit was imminent.

Recently the UK's payment association Apacs launched the Payment Industry and Police Fraud Intelligence Unit to collate reports of fraud.