Frameworks for understanding victim harm and vulnerability have become central to priority-setting and resource allocation for decision-makers in the police and government in the UK. This paper aims to look at the meaning of vulnerability in the context of fraud.
The research took a mixed methods approach, including analysis of national crime data (n = 61,902), qualitative data collected from interviews with practitioners (n = 107) and a survey of strategic lead officers in the police (n = 32).
There was a lack of clarity across practitioners and organisations in their understanding of vulnerability and the way it informed the police response to fraud, and a lack of resources and capability for identifying it.
The authors invite reconsideration of the approach to fraud victims which have for too long been forgotten by response and support agencies.
We need to standardise and agree the definition of “vulnerability”; rethink eligibility levels; and refocus police on fraud victims taking vulnerability as a meaningful criterion in deciding who to support.
There is very little research on vulnerability and fraud victims; this paper, based on original research, fills this gap.
The authors are grateful to the Dawes Trust for sponsoring this work.
Skidmore, M., Goldstraw-White, J. and Gill, M. (2020), "Vulnerability as a driver of the police response to fraud", Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRPP-11-2019-0068Download as .RIS
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