Fears have been raised that fraud victims are being failed due to lacking police resources and long delays.

The concerns were raised by Easington Labour MP Grahame Morris whose office have been helping the family of one fraud victim for more than five years.

The family are still waiting for a charging decision from police after their mum had more than £170,000 taken from her bank accounts, and fear they’ll never get justice.

Raising the case in the commons last week Grahame Morris said: “We simply do not have the resources or expertise to tackle fraud.

“I have a constituent who is still waiting for a charging decision five years after being the victim of fraud. Her retirement has been ruined waiting for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to make the charging decision.”

It has been revealed Durham Constabulary has just one forensic accountant dealing with cases in the area.

Stats from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimate there were 4.5 million fraud offences in England and Wales in the 12 months ending March 2022, the most recent spell for which data is available, a 25 per cent increase on 2020.

The Northern Echo: Grahame Morris MP.Grahame Morris MP. (Image: House of Commons)

Mr Morris added: “The long-term, persistent, and ongoing delays in obtaining justice for my constituent demonstrate the catastrophic failures that exist within our criminal justice system for victims of crime.

“It is clear the police do not have the powers and resources to effectively investigate crimes such as fraud. A lack of officers means that those tasked with investigating crime are diverted to deal with live incidents. When the evidence is given to specialist staff like the single forensic accountant available to Durham Constabulary, they have an unsustainable workload, contributing to delays.

“There is no justice for a victim of crime if, after five years, they are still waiting for a charging decision, with the knowledge they will have further delays in the courts if the CPS decides to pursue the case.”

The Home Office said the Government is taking “robust action” on fraud.

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A spokesperson said: “We are taking robust action to protect the public from fraud, with offending falling by 13 per cent compared to June 2022.

“Since the rollout of our Fraud Strategy in May we have delivered the world’s first Online Fraud Charter with some of the world’s biggest tech companies, created a national fraud squad and rolled-out enhanced support available to victims across England and Wales.

“As pledged in our Fraud Strategy, we will shortly launch a national public awareness campaign, backed by law enforcement and a wealth of partners, to make it easier for people to spot fraud and take action to avoid becoming a victim.”