Notts pilots time-saving fraud investigation system

Nottinghamshire Police is the first force in the country to use a powerful new software system that speeds up complex fraud cases.

May 14, 2009
By Paul Jacques
Detective Chief Superintendent Jon McAdam

Nottinghamshire Police is the first force in the country to use a powerful new software system that speeds up complex fraud cases.
The fraud and asset confiscation enquiry tracker (FACET) system, developed in collaboration with WPC Software, records and tracks details of fraud and asset recovery investigations and automatically prepares case files for court.
Built specially for Nottinghamshire Police, the intranet software system is now being piloted by officers working in the fraud squad and asset confiscation.
It can shave weeks off an investigation and means officers are saved the painstaking task of manually inputting thousands of documents.
Inventory items such as exhibits, witness statements and other evidence are logically presented and linked together, making it much easier to file and retrieve important information.
Designed to be used by finance and fraud investigation teams, FACET provides full case management facilities and ensures that all exhibits are properly logged and ready for presentation in court.
Bank statements can be transferred directly to spreadsheets using sophisticated word recognition technology, reducing the need for information to be inputted manually. This greatly reduces the time that officers spend on preparing fraud investigations.
In addition, FACET includes a tasking facility that allows officers to assign tasks with a priority level. Users are informed of overdue tasks as soon as they log-on to the system.
Detective Constable Kevin Pratt, a fraud investigator with Nottinghamshire Police for 11 years, said: “Many police fraud investigation teams have limited staffing and finite resources. This means that complex fraud cases can sometimes take years to prepare. FACET changes all that.
“The ability to scan bank and credit card statements has resulted in huge savings in time and manpower. Work that used to take two to three weeks now takes just two to three days. This means that we can bring cases to court much more quickly. It can take a week a fill in an MG6 form in preparation for a court case but now it’s done in a matter of minutes.”
Detective Superintendent Stephen Lowe, who heads the serious and organised crime unit under which fraud investigations fall, said the software was proving to be a real success.
“It is still early days and there are a few teething problems to resolve but the system is proving to deliver everything it was hoped it would,” he said.
“Many other forces are now interested in acquiring it to meet their own individual needs.”


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