Accountants in London help police beat fraud

Accountants in London may be interested to learn that City bankers are joining a police fraud unit to help fight the war against economic crime.

The City of London police force has started recruiting bankers, IT specialists and businessmen as special constables. However, these new recruits will not be pounding the beat. Instead they will be advising the Economic Crime Directorate in its battle against fraud.

Steve Head, the Detective Chief Superintendent in charge of the fraud unit, said the squad needed to be abreast with current economic thinking and what better way to achieve that than have advisors who are working in the market place.

The special constables are able to offer advice on mysterious City practices such as hedge funds. Their advice helps the fraud unit understand whether behaviour is criminal or legitimate.

The Economic Crime Directorate also hires civilians with specialist accounting expertise. Patrick Rarden, a 44-year-old banker and special sergeant, recently won an award recognising his contribution in fraud cases. He also helps to educate detectives in the way the City works.

Rarden has been working as a special since 2007 and said his banking expertise has been used in both national and international investigations. He can advise his colleagues on whether procedures are correct or incorrect, as well as helping them understand the financial markets. He went on to say that it was a pioneering move for the City police force to hire accountants as specials in the fraud department. Normally they just work on patrols or at special events.

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