Celebrating success and improving collaboration were the key themes of Clue’s recent Investigating Fraud webinar which attracted over 100 participants from over 50 different agencies and bodies.

The Investigator and the Commissioner

Conducted under the Chatham House rule, the webinar began with a ‘fireside chat’ between the Commissioner and the investigator: Ian Dyson, head of the City of London Police and Detective Sergeant Nichola Meghji. It was fascinating to hear the pair in conversation as they described their very different roles at the strategic and operational ends of the organisation. Delegates heard about successful national work to push fraud up the political agenda as well as innovations like the Economic Crime Victim Care Unit – set up to improve the service to those who fall prey to fraudsters.

We heard about the working environment for fraud investigators, where each detective carries a caseload that is small in terms of the number of offences but huge in terms of their complexity with many investigations involving dozens of victims and witnesses and lasting several years. It’s also clear that much could be done to improve the way that technology could be deployed to help the investigator.

Cross-sector panel

The conversation then broadened out into a panel session in which Ian and Nichola were joined by Phil Jastrzebski from Three (Telecom), Jamie Cavaco Pereira from Santander and former Chief Constable and national police lead for cyber, Peter Goodman, now at the Home Office Accelerated Capability Environment.

There were warnings about the need to raise the collective game of law enforcement and other agencies in the face of a challenge that is already huge and yet continues to grow. There were also great examples of outstanding investigative work and pockets of excellent collaboration.

In closing the event, Clare Elford, Clue’s Managing Director captured some of the themes that were her key take-aways from the event.

The first was the power (and challenge) of data to the modern investigator. Whatever the sector, they need to be able to access data, search it easily and manipulate it to enable analysis. Automated tools exist to facilitate self-service analysis and they need to be developed and made available more widely.

The second theme is the potential to automate. There were too many stories of investigators and their analysts spending disproportionate amounts of time performing tasks that could easily be automated – whether that’s applying for a production order or redacting case papers. If a way could be found to improve the process for some of these routine tasks that take up 80% of investigators’ time, they would be freed up to focus on more value-adding work.

Thirdly, there was genuine interest in discovering more about the work of the other bodies involved in the call. We were left with a strong impression of some excellent (and extremely busy) people who didn’t have the time or the opportunity to learn about the work of other players in the fight against fraud – and sometimes this leads to intelligence sharing opportunities being lost. One participant called for a “golden button” to enable software users to share their intelligence quickly and easily with partners who need it.

Clue is extremely grateful to our users and guests who joined us for the webinar. It certainly reaffirmed our commitment to continue developing Clue as a highly interoperable system which uses AI to equip users with better, more powerful tools to improve their efficiency and to help them focus their attention on the things that matter. We also commit to keep on finding opportunities to bring our user community together in ways that are helpful and professionally interesting. The next event will be our annual user conference on 12th October in London.