Specialist and Economic Crime Command
Who we are
Originally established in 1946 as the ‘Fraud Squad’, the command has now evolved into Specialist and Economic Crime Command. It is now one of the most varied commands in the MPS.
The command has the lead in the following four main areas: Economic Crime, High Tech Crime, Proceeds of Crime and Human Trafficking.
We also provide a national response to extradition cases, mutual legal assistance and art & antiques crime.
The command also deal with asset recovery through the Proceeds of Crime Implementation Team and Payback units.
What we do
Sterling, the MPS strategy for combating economic crime in London, has made significant inroads into preventing economic crime, which costs the UK economy billions of pounds a year. It has done this through establishing partnership developments with public and private industry such as Companies House, eBay and Western Union. It also remains at the forefront in the fight against the growing threat of identity theft.
Sterling Money Laundering Investigation team conducts intelligence led investigations to proactively disrupt organised criminal networks and seize their financial assets under POCA 2002 and other money laundering legislation. The team encompasses specialist teams including the Film Piracy Unit and a team of officers working on fraud cases with an international perspective.
The Fraud Teams are responsible for combating serious and complex fraud and corruption within the public and private sectors. The teams work together with public sector partners including local councils, TfL and Immigration Services to protect London from financial crime.
Financial Investigation Development unit provides a corporate response to intelligence from over 50,000 Suspicious Activity Reports received by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) from within the financial community.
The Intelligence unit is the focal point for all intelligence, coming into the command, from the Financial Services Authority, trade bodies, financial institutions and SOCA, in relation to economic and financial crime
The Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime unit is a joint MPS and City of London Police unit, which works with, and is sponsored by, the banking industry to manage serious cheque and credit card fraud.
The Money Laundering Investigation team proactively targets organised criminal networks using money laundering legislation and asset confiscation with the intention of disrupting their influence and activities through financial deprivation.
The Specialist Enquiry Team is a key part of the MPS response to Disaster Victim Identification. They undertake confidential enquiries as directed by Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)
The Stolen Vehicle unit (SVU) has responsibility for investigating and disrupting serious and organised vehicle crime. It also encompasses the Vehicle Fraud Unit, which investigates finance fraud used to purchase vehicles from car dealership. It is entirely funded by Finance & Leasing Association, representing a number of major finance companies. Since October 2008 the National Plant Intelligence unit is a new team with national responsibility for plant theft that is based within the SVU.
The Arts and Antiques unit gathers intelligence on art crime and conducts proactive operations using specialist knowledge for investigations ranging from art faking and forgery to theft and money laundering.
The Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU) is a highly skilled team dealing with computer and cyber crime committed under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, primarily the offences of hacking, denial of service and maliciously creating viruses.
The Extradition and International Assistance units has national responsibility for locating and arresting fugitives wanted worldwide. They also conduct enquiries on behalf of and at the request of other countries.
The London Regional Asset Recovery Team (London RART) is a multi-agency unit, funded by seized assets, comprising staff from the MPS, Asset Recovery Agency, London City Police and Customs and Revenue, set up to deal with the seizure of criminal assets on a national basis under the POCA 2002.
The Payback Development Unit(PDU) exists to improve the MPS response to the Proceeds of Crime Act. It assists Borough Operational command units in improving their asset recovery activity taking the cash out of crime.
The Abusive and Extreme Images Unit (AEIU) has the MPS responsibility for the investigation of indecent, extreme and obscene images of both children and adults. This covers their possession, making, taking and distribution.
The Trafficking and Prostitution Unit is the MPS lead for all human trafficking and prostitution issues. The unit is based at ESB and can provide expert advice on strategic and tactical options when dealing with all trafficking and prostitution matters across the MPS.
Operation Maxim is a Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) joint partnership with the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) which targets organised immigration crime networks pan London involved in the facilitation of legal and illegal immigrants into the UK and production and supply of forged identity documents.
Operation Swale is to reduce harm caused to communities by a small number of foreign nationals and any other persons who benefit from immigration related criminality. Under this project Met officers now work within UKBA to assist in the removal of the most harmful individuals who commit immigration crime.
The Clubs Unit prepares and conducts covert proactive intelligence lead operations against high risk and problematic licensed and un-licensed premises, particularly those with drug and violent crime problems.
The Gaming Unit prepares and conducts intelligence lead operations in respect of gaming fraud and corruption within gaming establishments. They offer advice and assistance in respect of gaming issues under relevant legislation and facilitate access to records on members and guests kept by the gaming industry.
The Licensing Team provides strategic and tactical advice in respect of high risk and problematic licensed and un-licensed premises. They offer advice and assistance in respect of licensing issues under relevant legislation. Assist with prosecutions, reviews and closure orders. Manage door supervisors in partnership with external agencies. They promote and support the 'Safe and Sound' crime and harm reduction initiative, which is designed to tackle the threat posed by violence, drugs, weapons and associated crime in licensed premises.