20th Feb, 2019

Scheme set up prevents £654,556 worth of fraud across the West Mercia policing area

A SCHEME aimed at identifying and protecting potential fraud victims when they visit a bank or building society branch has helped to prevent £654,556 worth of fraud across the West Mercia policing area.

Since the Banking Protocol was introduced by West Mercia Police in September 2017, 115 emergency calls have been placed and responded to through the scheme across the alliance.

Developed as a partnership between the finance industry, police and Trading Standards, the Banking Protocol enables bank branch staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with an immediate priority response to the branch.

Across the country the Protocol has now led to 197 arrests and prevented almost £25million in fraud, while 3,682 emergency calls have been placed and responded to through the scheme.

UK Finance has led the development and implementation of the Protocol, with support from the National Trading Standards Scam team and the Joint Fraud Taskforce.

Det Insp Emma Wright from the West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit said the force was committed to tackling fraud and protecting people from harm, especially the most vulnerable in society.

She added the police had responded to a number of incidents since the Banking Protocol launch.

“This has prevented significant amounts of money being obtained by fraudsters, who, in many cases, had been trying to take it from elderly, or vulnerable people.

“In addition, a number of investigations are ongoing to catch those responsible for the offences.”

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