AXA assists police operation to crack down on commercial motor insurance fraud
Authored by AXA
- Roadside police operation seizes 18 uninsured vehicles with help from AXA Commercial Policy Fraud & Intelligence Manager.
- AXA expert reveals how commercial motor policies are linked to serious and organised crime across UK.
When the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) launched a crackdown on commercial insurance fraud earlier this month, AXA played a crucial role in helping to establish whether drivers were covered by legitimate motor insurance policies.
The crackdown included a three-day operation to stop commercial vehicles at the roadside, led by IFED. AXA Commercial Policy Fraud & Intelligence Manager Craig Conlon was on hand to check policies and offer expert guidance.
Craig’s role is unique within the insurance community. He works closely with forces across the UK to help them tackle commercial motor insurance fraud, which he explains has links to serious and organised crime.
"As far as I’m aware, there few insurers in the UK with dedicated commercial fraud teams on the policy side. Claims and retail policy are different, as these areas are where it’s perceived most of the fraud is perpetrated, but commercial motor fraud is a huge risk to the industry and the public."
"Working with law enforcement proactively, I am privy to the realities and impact of serious and organised crime across the UK, and this has allowed me to add another string to AXA’s bow with our fraud investigation work. I have close links to many police crime units, and I am receiving more and more requests from forces who want my support."
Craig said AXA’s collaborative approach to commercial motor fraud, which also involves liaison with the DVLA, environmental agencies and local authorities, was unique and had opened up opportunities for him to be involved in regional police events and to develop more contacts.
He explained how criminals use commercial motor policies to hide behind. They need vehicles to carry out their nefarious activities but don’t want to be identified by the police or number plate recognition cameras, so they operate under motor trade and fleet policies where drivers are not named.
"We do a lot of work to see if there are AXA policies associated with individuals and addresses that are of interest to the police. In addition, this data is used to identify and disrupt their ability to obtain AXA policies in the future and to support law enforcement operations."
"I focus on serious and organised crime linked to insurance policies. People think there can’t be that much, and its association is exaggerated, but it’s rife and is increasing. It’s not just the financial implications of commercial motor fraud, there’s also a huge reputational risk. For example, it’s linked to crimes such as gang related activity, Class A drug supply, modern day slavery and child sexual exploitation, so we have good reason to get close to it and help stamp it out."
Craig has a team of three dedicated investigators whose remit is everything commercial - motor, property and casualty fraud. They work with serious and organised crime units across the UK including Scotland, Manchester and Yorkshire.
Craig is also a member of several police serious and organised Silver Crime Committees where members work in partnership to target organised crime groups and persons of interest by disrupting their activities.
The City of London Police’s roadside operation led to six arrests. Of the 150 vehicles stopped, 18 were seized due to lack of insurance.
These close links with the police are mutually beneficial because of the information we share with each other. Together we are working to disrupt criminal activity with the aim of eradicating commercial motor fraud and prevent harm to the public.
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