The home office has unveiled new proposals that would make it a criminal offence for manufacturers and suppliers to supply individuals involved with identity fraud specialised printing equipment, whether it was intentional or not. The equipment includes plastic card printers, ultra violet inks and hot foiling machines.Those found guilty of not carrying out reasonable checks or by knowingly supplying criminals can then be imprisoned for up to ten years. The legislation will only come into place later this year after a four week consultation with members of the printing industry. The move comes after ‘Project Genesius’; a partnership between the printing industry, who has lobbied for legislation on the matter for years, and the Metropolitan Police Service. Figures from the National Fraud Industry estimate that fake documents for identity crime have cost the country at least £2.7billion in 2010, with 1.8 million people being effected.
Detective Nick Downing from the MPS said that despite the partnership being a success, “organised criminal groups are still able to buy specialist equipment without any questions asked”
“Not only do the public suffer from billions of pounds of fraud each year, but the false identity documents also help criminals to avoid the law.”