In 2010, Theresa May became Home Secretary and immediately set about ‘reforming’ the Police; a euphemism for the rapid reduction in front-line numbers. It had an instant and dramatic effect on how the Police in England & Wales responded to reports of crime. Officers at ground level began to believe the politically motivated media reports that they were over-stretched and unable to cope, so found they could simply refuse to accept and/or investigate a crime. Moreover, almost to prove a point, their senior officers gave them every backing.
So, it was no surprise that in 2012, when we delivered on a plate to two Police Forces and the National Crime Agency the man who was making a name for himself as ‘Britain’s Most Wanted Fraudster’, nothing was done!
A one-man crime-wave, Mark Acklom would continue to defraud individuals and companies around Europe of millions. When the British Police eventually got around to doing something, the seven-year investigation and subsequent extradition undoubtedly cost the British taxpayer more than a million.
Early in 2012, Dick Smith was called in by an architect to discreetly check out Acklom’s credentials. It took Dick just 36 hours to prove that Acklom was an international conman engaged in a series of frauds around the West Country and the architect was clearly the potential target of a scam. He was able to back off, thus saving his money. He agreed to the Police being warned. Deplorably as far as the other victims were concerned, however, the Police made the conscious decision to ignore the information; turning down the opportunity to capture Acklom who was then living locally . . . in luxury. As one senior officer said at the time, “As there is no reported crime to investigate, we are not permitted to proceed with it ~ so it may be he is wanted elsewhere but there’s not the resources to even establish that!”
Martin Brunt, Crime Correspondent at Sky News, has produced a documentary about Acklom, who is now serving five years 8 months imprisonment following his “deal” with the Crown Prosecution Service, which dropped 15 of the 20 charges against him in return for a guilty plea. Brunt quotes from Dick’s 31-page report [at 26 mins 30 secs]; the same report which was delivered to the Police at the very time Acklom was committing many of these offences.
The Sky News documentary may be seen here . . . Link
“The sad thing is,” laments Dick, “were these circumstances to occur again tomorrow, I’ll guarantee the Police would take the same action . . . that is, no action. There is no longer any mechanism for the public to report their suspicions concerning fraud. Only a victim may report an offence to Action Fraud.”
Article submitted by Dick Smith – Full Member no. F1520
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