The award-winning Beacon Fraud Hub contacts and supports every Hertfordshire resident who has been a victim of fraud and reported their case to Action Fraud. It was developed in April 2019 following recognition of a need for specialist knowledge and support which enabled fraud victims to know their rights.
The team was commissioned by Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, and is a collaboration between Catch22’s Beacon Victim Care Service and Hertfordshire Constabulary.
In under two years, more than £1.1 million has now been recuperated for thousands of local residents impacted by fraud.
In December, the Hub scooped the national Tackling Economic Crime Award (TECA) for Outstanding Customer Service. And it was also hailed as the ‘gold standard’ of victim support at a College of Policing fraud conference. The Hub is now an integral part of the County Fraud Strategy, which has links with Citizens Advice and Age UK.
Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said:
“This is a fantastic result for the Beacon Fraud Hub and all the people who have got money back. Fraud is the most prevalent crime across the county, and I am determined to tackle it in every way we can.
“This is a unique scheme we have created for Hertfordshire and it is already paying dividends. We invested £198,000, mainly from government funds, and it has returned £1.1m.”
“I would like to thank the team for all their extraordinary work and their dedication for working with victims on a one-to-one level to advocate and advise on their behalf.”
Head of Beacon Victim Care Service, Emma Jones, said:
“The Beacon Fraud Hub has allowed us to develop a team with specialist knowledge, who can work with victims one-to-one while empowering them to know their rights. This huge milestone reminds us why we advocate every day for local victims of crime.
“Hertfordshire Constabulary, David Lloyd, our Police and Crime Commissioner, and Catch22 have always supported us to better meet the needs of Hertfordshire’s victims of crime by adapting our service as we see fit – ensuring no victim is left behind.”
Chief Constable, Charlie Hall, said:
“I would like to congratulate the team for their efforts over the past two years. £1.1million is a significant sum of money to have been recovered for victims in Hertfordshire. For each and every one of those victims, the work done by the team will I am sure have done much to mitigate the harm they have suffered as a result of being targeted by fraudsters.”
Frauds include losing money through a trusted person, pension theft, romance fraud, internet hacking or scam telephone calls.
Each month the Hub is sent a list of Hertfordshire residents who have reported a loss to Action Fraud, the national Police reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime. While not set-up to investigate the crime, the team help victims retrieve stolen money through advocacy with financial institutions.