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DCPCU marks its 8th anniversary with £340m of fraud savings

28 April 2010

The Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) – the unique bank-sponsored police squad - today announced details of its latest fraud savings, which showed that its work to target organised fraud gangs led to estimated savings of £24.5 million in 2009. Publication of this latest figure coincides with the 8th anniversary of the Unit, which was set up on 29 April 2002.

This significant sum helped to contribute to the reduction in annual card fraud losses announced by the banking industry last month. Total card fraud losses in 2009 decreased by £160 million from the previous year, amounting to £440.3 million².

Over the past eight years the Unit has prevented an estimated £340 million of card and cheque fraud losses, which means on average they have saved over £3.5 million of losses per month.

The Unit comprises 20 officers seconded from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside a team of banking industry fraud investigators.

In 2009, the DCPCU:

  • Recovered 9,700 counterfeit cards (and more than 54,000 over the past eight years)
  • Recovered 29,300 compromised card numbers (more than 319,000 over the past eight years)
  • Secured 31 convictions on fraud related matters (more than 270 over the past eight years)

Detective Chief Inspector John Osibote, who leads the DCPCU, said:

“With fraud loss savings estimated at £3.5 million per month, the Unit has been instrumental in helping drive down card fraud. We want to send out a loud and clear message to the organised criminal gangs who are behind the lion’s share of fraud on UK cards that we can, and will, track them down.”

Interviews with DCI John Osibote, head of the DCPCU, are available on request.

For further information contact:

T: Mark Bowerman 020 3217 8251 / Michelle Whiteman 020 3217 8316

Notes to editors:

1 The Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a squad of specialist police officers and civilian staff set up in April 2002 to tackle the organised gangs responsible for much of the UK's card and cheque fraud. It is fully sponsored by the banking industry to the tune of approximately £5 million per year.

2 Credit and debit card fraud losses in 2009 fell by 28% to total £440.3 million. More information is available at
3 Financial Fraud Action UK is the umbrella under which the financial services industry co-ordinates its activity on fraud prevention, presenting a united front against financial fraud and its effects. Financial Fraud Action UK ( works in partnership with The UK Cards Association on industry initiatives to prevent fraud on credit and debit cards, with the Fraud Control Steering Group on non-card fraud and the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company on credit clearing and cheque fraud.

4 The UK Cards Association is the leading trade association for the cards industry in the UK. With a membership that includes all major credit, debit and charge card issuers, and card acquiring banks, the role of the Association is both to unify and represent the UK card payments industry. It is responsible for formulating and implementing policy on non-competitive aspects of card payments including codes of practice, fraud prevention, major infrastructural changes, development of standards and other matters where cross-industry benefits are identified. More information about The UK Cards Association is available at

5 The Fraud Control Steering Group is an unincorporated association of financial institutions who participate in retail banking and the payments market in the UK. It is responsible for formulating and implementing policy and ensuring a co-ordinated industry approach to fighting payment, cheque and lending fraud.

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