On Friday night I went to a Shalamar concert (Shalamar? some of you will probably have to Google that one) and found myself transported back in time to an 80s disco! What a great night, although these old bones are suffering now.
And over the weekend I have been thinking about how times have changed. What’s different from the 80s? Aside from the fact that I seem to have totally lost my sense of rhythm. As this is an ICT blog I thought I’d look at the world of financial crime. Let’s consider coppers and villains…
Police in the 1980s
Aside from the City of London Police, other police forces treated financial crime as being low on their list of priorities. For most officers financial crime was only associated with fraud and viewed as old-fashioned, not a ‘sexy’ crime to investigate, like drug trafficking for example. As a result little resources were put into investigation teams and because the staff that did exist were skilled at handling complex investigations they were often abstracted to other types of investigations that were seen as more important. But those small financial crime teams of dedicated individuals did their best with the resources available to make life difficult for the criminals.
Villains in the 1980s
Thinking back, they had an easy life. They could walk into anywhere holding a carrier bag full of cash with no questions asked; in the words of Shalamar "Take it to the bank”, or they could give it to a solicitor to put towards their purchase of a flat (they had yet to be called apartments). And they could just walk into the nearest car dealership and put their cash on the counter to buy a brand new Ford Escort XR3 or Sierra XR4 (depending if they were in their 20s or 30s).
FAST FORWARD TO THE 2010s
Police in the 2010s
Aside from the City of London Police, other police forces treat financial crime as being low on their list of priorities. For most officers financial crime is only associated with ‘fraud’ and viewed as old-fashioned, not a ‘sexy’ crime to investigate, like drug trafficking for example. As a result little resources are put into investigation teams and because the staff that do exist are skilled at handling complex investigations they are often abstracted to other types of investigations that are seen as more important. But these small financial crime teams of dedicated individuals do their best with the resources available to make life difficult for the criminals.
Little change there then!
Villains in the 2010s
No longer can they throw their cash around with impunity. They have to worry about their bank/solicitor/accountant etc. reporting on them. And you can almost hear them moaning that everyone asks so many questions, you can't even open a bank account nowadays without being asked where your money has come from!
And when they last went into a dealership to buy their new set of wheels they were told that a limit of £500 cash was the new policy. So, what are the protégés of the 80s villains driving around in nowadays? Probably a 4x4 with privacy glass and black alloys. But not owned by them, certainly not! It’s a company car owned by the corporate structure that’s behind their string of tanning salons/nail bars/car washes.
They have still managed to get their money into the system, but they have had to work a lot harder at it.