Friday, March 13, 2015

Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit


Card
DCPCU – Protect Security of Card Payment

The function of UK Cards Association is to protect the security of card payments system with focus on tackling organised criminal activity. In order to accomplish this, the UK Cards Association, funds a specialist policing team known as the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit – DCPCU to identify organised payments fraud. The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, a special police unit comprises of police officers who have been appointed from the City of London Police as well as the Metropolitan Police Services who operate together with industry fraud investigators.

Their focus lies in identifying and targeting the organised criminal gangs which are responsible in attacking the payment industry. The Unit was established in April 2002 and is fully sponsored by the card and retail banking industries which was created due to the rising growth in payment card crime during 1999 and 2001. From the time of its establishment, the banking industry has been put in an investment of around £4 million per year for the operation of the Unit.

Experts have attributed to the growing incidents of organised crime in the area and the lack of dedicated police investigatory. The main purpose of the DCPCU is to identify, check and seek appropriate prosecution of offenders who have been responsible for organised cheque and payment card crimes.

Organised Criminal Gangs - Targeted

It is headed by a Detective Chief Inspector who brings together the officers as well as civilian staff from the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police forces. Moreover, expertise and payments industry knowledge is also given by industry secondees. Though it is a London based unit, investigations are nationwidewhere the organised criminal gangs responsible for payment related fraud are targeted. Some of its achievement since its formation is –

  • Achievement of £450 million in the form of saving from reduce fraud activity equating to £800,000 weekly
  • Recovery of around 700,000 counterfeit card
  • Recovery of 346,000 compromised card numbers
  • Secured 346 convictions on matters related to fraud, which is an average of more than one successful prosecution per fortnight over the past decade.
Areas of Priority 

The impact on a wider perspective is the link to organised and serious crimes. The Unit’s investigation has established that a significant proportion of fraud has been committed by these criminal gangs, having strong links to other kinds of serious crimes, which also includes people, drugs, and trafficking as well as violent crimes. The Unit has also been responsible in providing key fraud prevention messages to the people such as with the help of television and radio work as well as through direct meeting with groups that represent consumers who could be at high risk. The Unit’s priority areas are:

  • Project Sandpiper – The Unit secured European Commission funding in 2013 which was funded by UK Cards Association and PFF in order to finance the project focused in tackling Romanian criminality that affected the UK payment industry. This involved connecting with the UK payments industry as well as law enforcement individuals in Romania in tackling its organised criminal groups.
  • Staff Insider – Work with banks that sponsored to reduce harm caused by dishonest staff and targeting organised criminal groups.
  • Social Engineering – Telephone – To locate criminal groups responsible in fast rising fraud cases who are aiming vulnerable individuals as well as businesses causing great harm to the UK payment industry.

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