The specialist police unit that tackles UK card and cheque crime claims to have saved the industry over £400 million in fraud losses since its launch ten years ago.
The Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) was launched on 29 April 2002 and became permanent two years later following a successful trial, which was jointly managed by the banking industry and the Home Office. The DCPCU is now fully sponsored by the banking industry, which invests nearly £5 million per year in the Unit's operation.
The DCPCU comprises officers from the City of London and Metropolitan police forces who work alongside a team of banking industry fraud investigators and support staff. It has secured 269 convictions on fraud related matters - an average of more than one successful prosecution per fortnight over the last decade.
Since its inception, the DCPCU claims to have achieved £400 million in savings from reduced fraud activity - equating to £750,000 per week - and recovered 331,000 compromised card numbers.
Detective chief inspector Paul Barnard, who heads up the DCPCU, says: "By working hand-in-hand with the banking industry and other police forces we continue to disrupt the organised gangs committing these crimes."
He says that the introduction of mobile payments is set to open up a new frontier in crime prevention for the unit over the coming years.
"Advances in technology and the advent of new ways to pay, such as mobile payments, have brought different challenges to those the Unit faced ten years ago," he says. "However, the DCPCU is determined to stay at the forefront of crime prevention, tackling payment fraud in whatever shape and form it exists."