The police and the insurance industry are to set up a special force dedicated to tackling insurance fraud.
The unit will be operated by the City of London Police, but funded by the insurance industry. Launching next year, it will involve 35 dedicated fraud detectives and support staff. Although based in the Economic Crime Directorate, a police department, the new unit will have access to wider London police resources.
The scheme will be funded for its first three years by the Association of British Insurers, but will be subject to an evaluation review after two years.
The public-private partnership is based on an existing model which tackled cheque, credit and debit card fraud. In both cases, the industry funds the operation and helps set the priorities, but the police remains operationally independent.
Meanwhile the ABI says it is setting up a national insurance fraud register of known offenders. Member companies will be able to check applicants against the register, avoiding the obvious limitations in simply asking whether or not they've previously committed fraud.