The police and other law enforcement bodies face continuing pressure to prioritise resources in the face of austerity measures. BOSS has been working hard to maintain and build on existing relationships to ensure maximum benefit for members, recognising that it’s important to do more than just report a crime. This has led to the recovery of more than £2m for members, together with positive outcomes and prosecution of numerous persistent offenders.
Last year we revised and streamlined our processes to make BOSS more efficient and productive. BOSS became the first organisation to successfully upload cases in bulk to the National Fraud Investigation Bureau, which has allowed cases involving multiple offences to be disseminated for investigation quicker and more efficiently, ensuring compliance with national crime recording rules.
In consultation with the police, we have also revised reporting forms to assist in the prosecution of offenders.
These changes have helped BOSS to increase our scope of activity. During the second half of 2015, more than 2,400 cases involving multiple offenders were referred to the National Fraud Investigation Bureau. Compare this to 200 successful prosecutions involving more than 3,000 individual cases being achieved during the preceding 12 months (July 2014 to June 2015).
BOSS is in a unique position to support investigations in the pursuit of persistent offenders. We have also strengthened working relationships with the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and other partners to recover money and tackle criminal activity.
For example, last year BOSS prepared evidence for Kent Police to secure convictions. One man was given a 12-month community order, and had to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and pay full compensation. Another received a two-year conditional discharge, but has to wear an electronic tag with a curfew and is banned from all fuel retail sites for two years.
In some cases, the prosecution process may take months to reach a conclusion, but the fight against crime continues and by becoming more proactive we are moving with the times, supporting members and pursuing persistent offenders with greater chance of success.