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APU and Merseyside Police confirm intelligence sharing agreement

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One of the UK’s most successful private motor anti-fraud teams, Asset Protection Unit (APU) and the Merseyside Police force have agreed to share intelligence to help tackle organised crime.

The information sharing agreement encompasses a number of organisations, which will work within a legal framework to facilitate the seamless transfer of information, in order to disrupt and curtail fraud more efficiently.

Set up originally to protect the vehicle fleet assets of the Automotive & Insurance Solutions Group (AIS), APU’s contribution will focus on motor fraud activity but intelligence relevant to other crimes will be shared when necessary, while adhering to data protection principles and compliance guidelines.    

Made up largely of ex-Police officers, APU is a bespoke team of 17 personnel. However, it has become a prime mover in automotive anti-fraud and has been involved in many of the biggest fraud and ‘crash for cash’ convictions of the last two years.

It was also able to assist the Police recently in bringing Daniel Paita to Justice after he slashed a man’s throat. A high-tech device within his AIS-owned car tracked his movements, confirming his exact location at the time of the offence.

Merseyside Police have been one of the first Police forces to recognise the link between Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) and their desire to drive upmarket cars; at times, this has led them to the AIS Group for replacement vehicles through credit hire agreements, following a car accident.

Neil Thomas, director of Investigative Services at Asset Protection Unit (APU), said: “We are in a prime position to help Police forces across the country to identify motor-related fraud so it made sense to formalise our partnership with Merseyside.

“We use bespoke forensic techniques and cutting-edge analytical technology to monitor a large fleet of vehicles which have, at times, been used for criminal activity; the agreement, in which we can seamlessly share intelligence about such activity, is intended to identify crimes more quickly by working together.

“It’s a breakthrough agreement to some extent and we hope to be able to help other forces in a similar way.”

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