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CITYMATTERS.LONDON 15 August - 04 September 2018 | Page 5 News Matters ‘CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE’ BEING MET HEAD ON BY THE HOME OFFICE £6million pot will help fund improvement to City force’s fraud squad CITY of London Police will share in a multi-million pound funding pool from the Home Office dedicated to fighting fraud and economic crime. The force’s national fraud squad was awarded £6.1million from a £100m investment in the Police Transformation Fund last week – with cash freed up to help forces across England and Wales “adapt to the challenges of the future”. The money will be used to establish a national taskforce for more integrated regional working on fraud, a recruitment drive for fraud detectives, and improved training and accreditation for specialist officers through the Economic Crime Agency. The force is also planning to upgrade its data analysis platforms to integrate information from its own Action Fraud squad and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. A statement said that the initiative will ensure “greater cohesion between the national reporting service for fraud and cyber crime”, speeding up the process of sharing data and allowing outcomes to be automatically captured. Transform City of London Police’s national co-ordinator for economic crime, commander Karen Baxter, said the funds would “transform” the force’s approach to fraud. “We are very pleased to have received this funding from the Home Office. “The money will allow us to fulfil an aspiration that the City of London Police has had for a long time, to upskill police officers in economic crime and build fraud capabilities across the country.” Minister for policing and the fire service, Nick Hurd, said: “Criminals don’t stand still, and neither should our police forces. We’re determined to support police leaders in creating a modern, agile and responsive police service. “The Police Transformation Fund is delivering real change in policing, and this new funding will continue to help forces improve efficiency and tackle threats like serious, organised and economic crime.” on the rise: despite fears surrounding Brexit implications financial services exports are on the up Financial exports climb by £3.2bn FINANCIAL services and insurance firm exports jumped £3.2billion in 2017 – providing ammunition for Square Mile lobbyists as they demand a favourable deal for the City during Brexit negotiations. Data in the annual Office for National Statistics Pink Book – which reported record high figures of £78bn for last year – was pounced upon by City policy chairman Catherine McGuinness as Britain’s divorce from the EU continues to hit stumbling blocks. The UK’s trade balance for the sector also increased from £58.2bn to £60.9bn in 2017. The surplus – the largest of any UK services sector by some margin – plays an important role in helping to balance the UK’s trade in goods deficit, currently in excess of £137bn. Deficit And there was more positive reading for pro-Europe campaigners as the sector’s trade with the EU rose from £28.8bn to £32.8bn, with the share of financial services and insurance exports going to the market also climbing from 39% to 42%. “The success of UK financial services and insurance firms in exporting across the globe plays a vital role in balancing our trade deficit,” said Ms McGuinness. “It also helps to support jobs around the country, as well as providing the finance and services needed by our international partners.” “An increasing proportion of these exports are going to the European Union, which only underscores the urgent need to secure a positive services trade deal in the Brexit negotiations. “A poor deal on services with Europe will mean that the sector is less able to create jobs, generate tax, and support growth across the wider economy.” Beyond the EU, trade with key markets, including the US (up from £15.4bn in 2016 to £16.3bn in 2017), Japan (£3.9bn to £4bn) and Switzerland (£2bn to £2.3bn), all increased. Trade with China also increased from a low base of £280m to £340m. Despite strong performance in these markets, overall trade with non-EU countries actually fell from £46bn to £45.1bn. Services A recent report by the think tank Centre for Cities and supported by the City of London Corporation – titled London Links: The Geography of Financial Services in the Capital and Beyond – looked at how much individual cities across the UK export in services, and what proportion came from the financial sector. It found that cities such as Cardiff (81%), Northampton (76%), Leeds (71%) and Edinburgh (69%) rely heavily on finance as their major services exporter. Comparatively the financial sector makes up 41% of London’s entire services exports.
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