Andy Rice, Head of Counter-Fraud & Investigations talks about how DVSA protects you from unsafe drivers and vehicles.
My team is responsible for setting the strategy in relation to counter-fraud activity connected to internal fraud and external fraud.
We investigate illegal activity against the theory and practical driving tests – as a result, in 2016 to 2017, we had:
- 358 arrests
- 241 Police cautions,
- 83 convictions (65 of which sent to prison)
- 142 driving licences revoked
We also investigate internal fraud, Approved Driving instructor misconduct, illegal driving instruction, vehicle Operator Licensing Scheme, MOT Scheme and other vehicle related frauds.
This means working with our partners, we’ll find and prosecute anyone who tries to cheat the systems that are in place to keep you safe – whether that’s those giving illegal driving instruction, cheating at the theory test, or fraudulently passing vehicles at an MOT.
Moving from outsource to in source
I’ve recently been working on the restructure of the Counter-Fraud and Investigation team to support the Counter Fraud Strategy and the in-housing of investigations that are currently contracted out.
As these types of legacy contracts come to an end, we’re moving to a different way of working. This will give us an agile, flexible response to the fraud challenges ahead. It will also increase the size of the team, so keep an eye out for exciting opportunities over the coming weeks.
A vision to improve road safety
Our vision for enforcement is to improve road safety – through protecting you from unsafe drivers and vehicles.
You may recall the recent coverage on the TV programme, ‘Undercover criminals’? My team was filmed undertaking an arrest operation with the Metropolitan Police Service to arrest individuals who’d paid an impersonator to take their theory/practical driving test and impersonators themselves.
Our investigations into these types of offences and subsequent arrest operations directly impact on road safety and protecting people from unsafe drivers. Someone who has a full driving licence but hasn’t successfully passed the theory and/or practical driving test themselves, pose a danger to us all.
Plans for the next year
We’ll be forming a fraud prevention team, whose role will be to work with all areas of the business to reduce instances of fraud/illegal activity that we face across all or our products.
Currently, the majority of our work is reactive by pursuing and prosecuting those suspected of fraudulent applications or actions of other criminal intent.
As part of the Counter Fraud Strategy, we intend to expand our approach to include:
- Protect our products, processes and systems making them more difficult and more costly to attack
- Prevent access to our products/services by those not entitled to them, shutting down any criminal benefits
- Prepare to reduce the impact of criminality by extending our understanding of the dynamic risks it faces
This is a common approach taken by the wider counter-fraud community.
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