In 2012, Project Genesius – the Met’s partnership with the specialist printing industry – proposed the introduction of the new legislation to the Cabinet Office as a way to assist in combating fraudsters who make millions by selling or using false IDs.
Under the new Specialist Printing Equipment and Materials (Offences) Act 2015, police officers across the UK can arrest people who supply specialist printing equipment or materials to criminals. These items include identity card printers, printer ribbons, embossers and hot foil presses.
A printer sells for around £1,000 and is suitable for producing IDs such as company staff passes and membership cards, however, organised criminals use it to create convincing passports, driver’s licences and bank cards – genuine versions of which are produced on higher quality printers, under strict controls
They produce the IDs in bulk and sell them on for hundreds of pounds each.
The IDs ultimately enable recipients to live in the country illegally, open bank accounts, apply for jobs – including roles involving contact with vulnerable people – and to obtain credit cards, loans and state benefits. Sometimes the IDs are used to obtain genuine documents such as passports and driving licences, helping the holder to hide their fraudulent existence from authorities.
Identity fraud such as this accounts for almost half (41 per cent) of all fraud in the UK, according to the independent fraud prevention service CIFAS.
Police will use the new legislation to hold to account those individuals who sell specialist printing equipment knowing it is destined for criminal purposes. Its existence will also encourage suppliers who mistakenly supply printing equipment to criminals to carry out better due diligence checks.
The legislation will be a more effective tool to deal with enablers of ID crime. Previously, such people could only be charged where it could be proved that they were part of a wider conspiracy to defraud. Gathering evidence to verify their link to a specific organised crime group – especially where they have only supplied to the group once – can take in excess of a year, if it can be proven at all.
Project Genesius proposed the new legislation three years ago as part of its plan to stamp out ID fraud by sharing intelligence, preventing criminal abuse of specialist printing equipment and increasing the understanding of the scale of identity document abuse.
Membership to Project Genesius is free, and most of those involved in the secure printing industry in the UK are now members.
Detective Superintendent Jayne Snelgrove, who heads up the Met’s fraud and cyber team FALCON, in which Project Genesius sits, said: “The new legislation will give police a more direct and efficient means of dealing with people who sell printers knowing that they are going to be used in crime.
“False IDs are used to carry out crime, hide criminal identities and allow people to live in the UK illegally. People with false IDs are in jobs they should not be in, potentially posing a risk to vulnerable people. They are accessing money they have no right to and living where they ought not be.
“By using the new legislation to stop the supply of the equipment to make such IDs, we will make life a lot tougher for ID fraudsters.”
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire, said: “Identity crime is a growing menace that costs people in the UK billions of pounds every year.
“More than a quarter of adults are thought to have been a victim at some point and this is clearly unacceptable.
“The Home Office has taken a range of action to combat this crime, including a programme of activity to tackle the manufacture and use of false identities.
“This new offence will be vital in tackling those who knowingly supply specialist equipment to fraudsters.”
Police are content Corrie McKeague is not in the landfill areas which have now been searched.
olice have completed the search of a second area at the Milton landfill site as part of their inquiry to find Corrie McKeague.
The search of an extended area of Cell 22 began on October 23, 2017.
Although the data available indicated this was the next most likely area where Corrie might be found following the original 20-week search of the cell earlier this year, there was no trace of him.
Police are content Corrie is not in the landfill areas which have now been searched.
The inquiry team has identified all the other possible locations where waste has been deposited from the area in Bury St Edmunds known as the ‘horseshoe’ and there are no further realistic search opportunities at this time.
As previously stated, the nature of waste disposal and its movement is not an exact science.
The primary hypothesis – that Corrie ended up in the waste disposal process – was endorsed by a review of the investigation undertaken by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).
The EMSOU officers who conducted the review were given access to all of the information they needed to conduct a thorough review, including all of the witness statements.
Following the conclusion of the landfill search site today the investigation into Corrie’s disappearance on September 24, 2016, will continue.
He was last seen on CCTV entering a loading bay in the ‘horseshoe’ following a night out.
CCTV in Bury St Edmunds town centre has already been viewed up to 4pm on 24th September 2016 and Corrie has not been seen to leave.
However, we will continue to scrutinise the other theories in order to try to establish and understand what may have happened to Corrie.
Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said: “We are still committed to continuing with the inquiry. There are a number of other theories about what could have happened to Corrie and we are continuing to test the evidence to help us understand what happened to Corrie, which will assist in providing answers to his family.
“We feel it is important to explain to the family what we are doing, so they have the opportunity to understand and question what we have done, and why we have done it.
“We are acutely aware of the immense strain the last 15 months has placed upon Corrie’s loved ones. We want them to be confident we are doing everything that it is practical for us to do as we strive to find Corrie.”
Suffolk Constabulary would like to thank FCC Environment, owner of the Milton landfill site, for its support and co-operation during the inquiry.
The total amount searched in this second phase of the search was 2,867.5 tonnes.
The Wesley Nightclub in Hartlepool is ablaze
An area of Hartlepool town centre has been closed as flames rip through the former Wesley nightclub.
Police and Fire Fighters were quickly on the scene of the blaze at the former Wesley Nightclub and Chruch in Hartlepool.
The Grade II Listed Building has stood empty for a number of years and is a very iconic building within Hartlepool.
Trevor Sherwood Police Hour editor said “The flames are reaching 20ft in the air and a large number of fire appliances are on the scene loud explosions can be heard from inside the building”
“I arrived on scene just before the first fire appliance got there, loud bangs could be heard from inside and the fire quickly took hold”
“It was over 30 minutes before Cleveland Fire could get a hose safely on the building as they needed an aerial platform”.
Hugh flames can be seen for several miles as firefighters tackle the blaze. It took Firefighters almost 30 minutes before they were able to get a hose onto the fire which seemed to be mainly on the roof of the building with flames up to 20ft.
Firefighters have been called to a blaze at the former Wesley nightclub and church in Wesley Square, Hartlepool.
The Wesley Chruch opened n 1872 and became an iconic image within Hartlepool sadly the church closed in 1973 and later reopened as a nightclub in the early 2000s and then later a gym complex.
The business was closed and has been empty for over 10 years left to fall to bits with many people within Hartlepool hoping the building could be brought back to life.
Cleveland Fire Brigade was alerted to the fire just after 9pm and with a large number of fire appliances being sent the scene.
Cleveland Police assisted the fire brigade by enforcing a number of road closures on Victoria Road and Raby Road.
We have contacted Cleveland Fire Brigade for comment.
Members of the public are being warned to keep their windows shut as thick smoke is billowing across the centre of Hartlepool.
Cleveland Police have released a statement “Officers have been called to a report of a fire at an empty building known as the Wesley Nightclub on Victoria Road in Hartlepool on Saturday 9th December”
“Police are currently on scene with Cleveland Fire Brigade and it is believed no one is injured at this time.”
“Victoria Road and Wesley Square are currently closed and people are advised to avoid these areas until further notice.”
Anyone who may have witnessed what happened leading up to the fire is requested to contact Cleveland Police on 101.
On-Duty Police Constable James Dixon has sadly died
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Police Constable James Dixon and a 91-year-old woman following an incident on the A4 in Berkshire.
PC James Dixon died after the police motorcycle he was riding collided with a car on Bath Road near Hare Hatch at 13:50 GMT.
The pensioner was a passenger in the car and was killed while the driver was rushed to hospital.
Police Hour has now launched a readers appeal to help raise money to support the family of the fallen police officer and the 91-year-old victim who has not yet been named.
Tonight we light a candle fo PC James Dixon thank you for your service, our thoughts are with your family as this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/qwEdkpi6lI
— Police Hour (@PoliceHour) December 5, 2017
The road will remain closed for the remainder of Tuesday.
PC Dixon was a highly respected police
Officer of Thames Valley Police
A force spokesman said officers remained at the scene of the collision and had advised motorists to avoid the area.
The incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
IPCC Associate Commissioner Guido Liguori said: “My thoughts and sympathies are with their families and friends and the colleagues of the officer at this very difficult time.
“IPCC investigators are attending the scene as part of an independent investigation to determine the circumstances which lead to the collision.”
PC Dixon was based at Loddon Valley police station, near Reading.
Police said the injuries of the driver involved are “not thought to be life threatening”.
Police Hour has now launched a readers appeal to help raise money to support the family of the fallen police officer and the 91-year-old victim who has not yet been named Please Donate now even if it’s just £5.