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Use police skills in the commercial sector

Man holding up  business card that says 'when'?

The good news is that police skills continue to be in demand within the commercial sector job market. Once the sole domain of the police, the investigation and enforcement are now carried out by many other organisations, which means new career opportunities for retired and former police officers.

The commercial sector, and in particular the financial, telecoms and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industries, has experienced a 30% growth in terms of employing their own investigative officers and managers.

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What can I expect?

Here's a summary of the opportunities you can expect and how your police skill sets could be profitable for you in the commercial world. Blue Line Jobs recruits in these areas:

Insurance fraud investigation

Retail sector

Security industry

Consultancy

Commercial Counter Fraud

 

Insurance fraud investigation

The insurance fraud investigation work community is an obvious ‘home’ for policing skill sets. However, this employment sector is complex and to break into it you need patience and the right tactics.

Many insurance firms tend not to separate the investigation of fraudulent claims from the processing of standard claims. That means there are very few stand-alone insurance fraud investigation roles. Instead they only offer ‘claims handler’ positions and just a fraction of their caseloads are potentially fraudulent.

JOB PROFILE

Claims Validation Officer

The purpose of this role is to handle a case load of claims through to settlement ensuring that they are not fraudulent. A Claims Validation Officer, Handler or Insurance Fraud Officer is likely to be employed by an insurance company or law firm or company specialising in personal injury claims. Another job role similar would be Motor Fraud Controller who would assist in the delivery of a claims division anti-fraud strategy by delivering improvements through the entire fraud claims handling arena. An insurance fraud job would include investigation by conducting preliminary and cognitive telephone interviews of customers, witnesses and third parties, to establish any potential fraud.

Some firms do have specialist fraud teams to escalate high risk claims. However, these teams tend to be staffed by personnel who have first proven themselves as claims handlers.

Many insurance firms outsource their high risk claims (or claims deemed to be questionable) to third party insurance fraud investigation businesses. This sector is dominated by businesses which employ former and retired officers and only offer self-employed work, paid on job by job basis. Many of these firms regularly advertise vacancies on Blue Line Jobs.

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Retail sector

Loss prevention and physical security are the most obvious applications for policing skill sets in the retail sector. Retail employers are very open to receiving applications from former and retired police officers.

When applying, it's important to emphasise any experience and skills you have gained in supporting retailers tackle shoplifting and theft.  In addition, make sure you have plenty of anecdotal examples of working in this area. Retailers are keen on prevention rather than detection so will need you to be up-to-date with latest crime prevention strategies and hardware. In particular, electronic equipment such as CCTV and more covert surveillance equipment and techniques.

JOB PROFILE

Corporate investigators

Corporate investigators conduct internal and external investigations for corporations. In internal investigations, they may investigate drug use in the workplace, ensure that expense accounts are not abused, or determine whether employees are stealing merchandise or information. External investigations are typically done to uncover criminal schemes originating outside the corporation, such as theft of company assets through fraudulent billing of products by suppliers.

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Security

The security industry has changed a great deal in the last 5 to 10 years. In particular, the licensing and greater regulation of the industry has meant it is no longer a straightforward transfer for a former and/or retired officer from the police into the sector.

The increased 'professionalisation' and the creation of the Security Industry Authority has had positive effects. Notably, the sector is shrugging off its shadier past, there are best practice guidelines in place and it's now a more professional environment to apply your police skill sets. All security professionals, whether working for contract security providers such as Securicor or working for direct employers, are required to be registered with Security Industry Authority. They also have to pass a basic exam to be a ‘badged’ security industry authority member. This is a straightforward exercise for a former or retired officer. The qualification focuses on basic conflict resolution skills and the extent of the powers that a security professional holds, which are strictly limited.

When applying for these sorts of roles, you should be aware that the industry is particularly concerned with prevention and ‘target hardening’. Similar to retail, you will need to understand the latest crime prevention strategies with a particular focus on technology.

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Consultancy

The word consultancy is a broad term for any business or individual that provides business advisory services. The big players in this market are management consultancy firms such KPMG, Deloitte, PA consulting and Cap Gemini, to name but a few.

These firms offer consultancy services in a myriad of areas, some of which require police skill sets. The key to being considered by a consultancy business as a genuine asset is whether your experience and competencies  are a good fit. This means whether they're relevant to the type of consultancy being supplied to existing (or potential) clients. The key to this is possessing, and being able to communicate, knowledge and skills which make you a subject expert.

Specific ‘hot topics’ in the last 5 to 10 years have been economic crime, anti money laundering, forensic accounting, physical forensics, training and large scale event security management.

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Commercial Counter Fraud

This commercial counter fraud sector is actually made up of many sectors. The range of employers and roles means it can only loosely be classed as a sector, because the nature of the jobs and employers differ hugely. The roles come under four main types of employer:

  • Financial Services
  • Retail
  • E-tailing
  • Payments & Technology

Below is a breakdown of the types of roles that former and retired police officers can transfer into. However, do understand that good analysis and intelligence are essential skill sets, preferably gained from an economic crime background. In addition, a good understanding of forensic accounting and IT techniques is a major advantage.

JOB PROFILES

Anti-money laundering officer

The purpose of jobs in anti-money laundering (AML) is to undertake various responsibilities including identification and verification of clients to detect and prevent anti money laundering risks to the business. As a part of this role it would be expected that maintaining records and databases would be normal and then identifying any changes and risks.

Financial Crime Investigator

Detect, prevent financial crime and prevent losses by monitoring customers' activity. You would be required to investigate high risk or suspicious activity, fraud crime referrals, disputes and suspicious activity by making enquiries, monitoring patterns and trends and gathering evidence. This is likely to include specialist investigation into the financial crime background of offenders to establish levels of benefit from crime and might include seizing cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Specialist Crime Officer

Analyse a wide range of data on crime and criminal activity, in order to establish links, patterns and trends relating to offences and suspects, and to establish a method of crime reduction. A specialist financial crime management unit is likely to be responsible for managing risks and threats to a business from money laundering, terrorist financing and internal fraud. It would also provide an expert police liaison service to law enforcement in all matters relating to economic financial crime. A specialist crime officer could also be called a economic crime investigator or specialist investigator in IT.

Fraud Risk Manager

Manage a team providing strategic fraud prevention & detection. As a fraud risk manager it is likely that you would represent the business on major projects and drive the strategic direction. A fraud risk manager would also ensure the delivery of preliminary investigations and processing of all identified fraud making sure all fraud risks have been identified.

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Financial Crime Analyst

Assist the reporting financial crime officer in the enhancement, development and implementation of money laundering / financial crime prevention systems, controls and monitoring procedures. A financial crime analyst would carry out activity investigation & reporting of suspicious activity and also liaise with law enforcement and other official agencies in relation to potential cases of financial crime. Some financial crime analysts would also get involved with development and training of money laundering and financial crime prevention.

Fraud Policy Officer

Develop comprehensive risk management strategies and policies to prevent fraud. The Fraud Policy Officer would work with a development team to devise reporting environment for a fraud, and analysing reports to find patterns in fraud. Fraud Policy Officers would develop, maintain and utilise advanced Fraud Control Systems and would also analyse reports to improve anti-fraud measures and risk management.

Fraud Strategy Manager

Defining processes to identify online fraudulent transactions and modelling risk management techniques to effectively minimise losses. You would manage a team of online security analysts who would be tactically controlling the application, transactional and internet fraud detection system rules to minimise card fraud losses. The job of the fraud strategy manager would be to defining processes to identify online fraudulent transactions and modelling risk management techniques to effectively minimise losses.

Fraud Analyst

Support fraud investigators in the preparation of evidence, information collection, planning and analysis in fraud investigations to detect and prevent fraud or abuse. This could be within a bank analysing accounts and savings accounts. The role of a financial fraud analyst would include involve supporting fraud investigators in the preparation of evidence, information collection, planning and analysis. Some fraud analysts would be expected to analyse some complex data and prepare detailed reports. These candidates would most likely earn towards the higher end of the expected salary.

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Fraud Investigator

Carry out fraud investigations and can be within a field that involves both civil and criminal investigations. As a fraud investigator, you will conduct in-depth case analysis, prepare and undertake prosecutions, administrative penalties and cautions and may even find yourself summoned to give testimony in court. You would undertake analysis of evidence/data, provide relevant and accurate information assisting in the detection and prevention of the type of fraud that you are working with. Candidates would be required to interview the people involved including witnesses, look into records, and to take a look at the documentation that has been produced by the case.

Claims Validation Officer

handle a case load of claims through to settlement ensuring that they are not fraudulent. A Claims Validation Officer, Handler or Insurance Fraud Officer is likely to be employed by an insurance company or law firm or company specialising in personal injury claims. Another job role similar would be Motor Fraud Controller who would assist in the delivery of a claims division anti-fraud strategy by delivering improvements through the entire fraud claims handling arena. An insurance fraud job would include investigation by conducting preliminary and cognitive telephone interviews of customers, witnesses and third parties, to establish any potential fraud.

Field Investigator

Undertake pro-active field based or on site surveillance investigations required to prepare detailed reports. This might include writting an investigation summary / report using evidence, witness statements and photographs etc. It is likely that the candidate is given a geographical area to work within.

Fraud Data Analyst

The role of a fraud data analyst would include involve supporting fraud investigators in the preparation of evidence, information collection, planning and analysis. Some fraud data analysts would be expected to analyse some complex data and prepare detailed reports. These candidates would most likely earn towards the higher end of the expected salary.

Online Fraud Analyst

carry out fraud investigations specifically regarding online fraud. This post could be required within the online gaming and betting environment or within online payments. The role of an online fraud analyst could involve collating the background information for developing and delivering reports and analysis using poker activity, identifying collusion, chip dumping and other fraud trends and subsequently close suspicious accounts. The candidate would also contribute to identifying initiatives, system improvements, and process improvements.

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