Cops tackle bogus collisions
* New unit to tackle gangs * Fraud costs up to 350 million a year * Innocent drivers targeted...
Criminal gangs that stage car crashes are to be targeted by a new Metropolitan Police unit.
Each fake collision can earn a gang up to 50,000 through fraudulent insurance claims.
The crashes usually involve a gang-member instigating a low-speed, low-risk collision with an innocent motorist.
The Metropolitan Police is training members of its traffic crime unit to spot evidence of staged accidents. The force is intending to send trained officers to every suspect collision.
Fraud costs 350 million a year
Detective chief inspector Nick Chalmers, of the traffic crime unit, referred to a recent report from the Serious Crime Agency that suggested such types of insurance fraud could be costing insurers up 350 million a year.
DCI Chalmers said: 'It is dangerous not just to the person driving the targeted car, but to other people confronted with carnage on the roads.
'These are organised criminals making an awful lot of money and they do not believe they will be investigated. Our core objective is to make the roads safe for everybody to use and reduce death and serious injury.'
Cost to honest drivers
Fraudulent claims add 40 to the average annual insurance premium, according to the Association of British Insurers.