Operation Confine: Targeting Motor Insurance Fraud
A North Wales Police initiative to disrupt criminal activity has seen over 300 insurance policies being cancelled thanks to ongoing work led by the Roads Policing Unit in conjunction with local policing teams.
Operation Confine involves targeting those who cause the most harm within communities and who have failed to disclose previous convictions to their insurance companies. The initiative sees officers focusing on the problem of ‘application fraud’ where they suspect an individual has not disclosed required material information to the relevant insurance company.
Temporary Chief Inspector Dave Cust from the Roads Policing Unit said, “When we make enquires into whether an individual has disclosed information such as unspent motoring or criminal convictions, depending on what a particular company asks, we’re not disclosing anything other than what the policy holder should have told them.
“Where it comes to light that they haven’t disclosed what they should, the insurance company will often then take the lead on what action is taken, and in a majority of cases a policy cancellation may be enough.
“In circumstances where there is a multiple pattern of offending, we will prosecute. The insurance industry is fully supportive as they are being made aware of the scale of the issue, it may save a fraudulent claim, they can make appropriate policy adjustments to correctly reflect an individual’s level of risk etc. Trade policies for instance are also being tackled with more effectiveness.”
Failure to honestly disclose a conviction when asked could be classed as fraud and invalidate an insurance application. To date 302 insurance policies have either been cancelled, voided or had increased premiums since the initiative began just over 12 months ago.
Recent cases include:
- A driver who appeared before Caernarfon Magistrates after pleading guilty to 20 charges of making false statements. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £170.
- At Caernarfon Court a driver was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison for making a false statement and having no insurance. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.
- Another appeared before Caernarfon Court charged with making two false statements. He was disqualified from driving for 12 months, fined £162 and ordered to pay £600 costs.
T/Chief Inspector Dave Cust added, “We have now had 11 convictions in court under Operation Confine, where the sentences have included custodial and disqualifications.
“We are in close contact with colleagues from the Motor Insurance Bureau who are fully supportive of the operation. We have even had several enquiries from other police forces who have heard about our campaign and are interested in finding out more.
“Fraud is not a victimless crime and false claims are felt by everyone, especially when we paying higher insurance premiums. We will continue to use all available powers and continue to clampdown on this type of criminality and hammer home to fraudsters, or indeed anyone thinking of making a false application that it won’t be tolerated.”
Paul Bennett, National Police Liaison officer working for MIB said, “Uninsured drivers pose a real threat and they are often linked to wider crime, from drug trafficking to using stolen vehicles. By spot-checking motor insurance details, fraud can be exposed, and this helps police to deny criminals use of our roads so it’s harder for them to carry out crime.
“Operation Confine is an excellent example of an innovative and effective approach to roads policing. We will continue to work in partnership with North Wales Police as this initiative develops, so we can reduce the harm caused by criminals using the road, and bring them to justice.”
Anybody who has information regarding individuals who are suspected of carrying out insurance fraud or driving without insurance is asked to contact North Wales Police on 101 or via the live web chat. Alternatively contact can also be made via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.