NBCS identified a broader trend in counterfeit voucher use, secured regional police involvement and stopped its members losing up to £20,000 each day.

The Issue

In just two days an NBCS member business had been the victim of 104 incidents where criminals had used high quality counterfeit vouchers. Importantly, the incidents had also involved violence, with two assaults on members of staff. The offences were spread across three police force areas, making a coordinated response difficult.

The cost

The offences involving counterfeit vouchers were costing our member a staggering £20,000 day, equivalent to over £600,000 a month. At least two other businesses were affected, at a similar cost.

How we helped

Once notified by our member about their problem, our team raised an alert to notify other member businesses about the offences, warning them to be on their guard. The team also started investigation work to identify any offences that might be linked to the incidents.

By sharing the locations of the offences and providing information on how to spot fraudulent vouchers, we helped our members identify potential target stores, so they could direct resources to these stores. This immediately reduced the number of incidents reported.

A number of the businesses involved had made arrests of individuals involved but the response from policing had been inconsistent and individual police forces would not look at the issue as one crime series. Our team collated all the relevant information, set up a meeting with the businesses affected and one of the police Regional Intelligence Units, and ensured that an agreement was reached on an appropriate policing response, with a single point of contact, and clear responsibility.

The result

Our collaborative work with members and police forces disrupted the criminals’ efforts and brought the offences to a speedy end; much faster than if our members had been working in isolation. Without our intervention, these offences would have continued for many more months, at great financial cost.

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