Lord Sheikh: My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, I declare an interest: I am chairman of an insurance organisation and a former director of the British Insurance Brokers Association.
- To ask Her Majesty’s Government what support they are giving to the police and the insurance industry to tackle the increasing occurrence of insurance fraud.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): My Lords, the recent cross-Whitehall fraud review led to the allocation of £29 million in new money over the next three years to establish the National Fraud Strategic Authority, a National Fraud Reporting Centre and a national lead force for fraud investigation. These developments will help provide support to the police and the insurance industry in their efforts to tackle insurance fraud.
Lord Sheikh: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. The NFSA does not have statutory authority. Would it be possible for it to have statutory powers?
Lord West of Spithead: My Lords, I will have to get back to the noble Lord in writing on the specifics of that. As he well knows—his interest in this area is well known and he has done some very useful work here—the whole aim of the authority is to drive forward a strategy; to assess the scale of the problem, and we appreciate that it is a huge problem; to set priority areas; and to work with stakeholders. It is an important unit. I mentioned the other three main areas where work is going on, and we should be able to establish two of them shortly.