The number of white collar prosecutions has fallen to a six-year low even though the amount of economic crime in the UK has risen over the same period, a development that could bolster arguments that a lack of resources is hampering the fight against crime.
Official statistics show there were 8,304 prosecutions for financial crime in 2016, a 12 per cent drop on 2015. It also represents a 26 per cent fall since 2011, when there were 11,261 prosecutions, according to data gleaned from the Ministry of Justice through a Freedom of Information request. But the number of reported fraud offences has increased nearly fourfold in the same period. In 2011 the number stood at 142,991 offences while last year it had risen to 641,539, according to the Office for National Statistics. Cyber attacks and online fraud were one of the factors contributing to the spike.