9 October 2019
The use of financial information from the private sector and financial institutions should no longer be viewed as a specialist area - it should routinely be used to research suspects and proactively identify crime patterns. That was the take away message from the first lecture at the Police Federation National Detectives Forum, held in Manchester today.
Mick Beattie, National Coordinator for Financial Crime, explained how the fact that institutions banks, law firms, estate agents and the gaming industry have to report suspicious activity is a gift to law enforcement, allowing police to gather valuable missing intelligence that would not be available elsewhere.
He gave an example of a case where financial institutions helped to find vital witnesses to a sexual assault. The police asked banks to send a letter to any of their customers who had used their credit/ debit card in the location of the assault. Two witnesses, who had been on a day trip to the area and hadn’t seen any of the local appeals for help, came forward and were able to identify the suspect.
Cases where data had been used to link members of organised crime groups – and build cases against more senior members- were also discussed.
Officers were encouraged to talk to their Financial Investigators, and to take the e-learning course to find out more about get the most out of financial data.