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Regulator boosts police links in anti-crime battle

The FSA has strengthened its arrest and search capabilities by reinforcing links with police chiefs throughout the UK in the fight against financial crime.

The regulator has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Association of Chief Police Officers, setting out how the FSA and police forces in England and Wales should co-operate over the arrest and questioning of suspects. The agreement is designed to simplify the way that the FSA and the police work tog-ether during investigations into cases such as insider dealing and false statements. It replaces a limited agreement with the City of London police which has been used as the basis for co-operation since 2003.

The new memorandum also lays out how the police an the FSA should work together once the regulator has applied for a search warrant to search the premises of firms which withhold information.

FSA spokeswoman Kate Burns says: “It seemed sensible to widen the scope of the memorandum of understanding and have an agreed pro- cess signed by chief police officers across the country.”

Beachcroft Wansbroughs managing director Richard Hobbs says: “The regulator has always found it difficult to co-operate with the police because they have different priorities. The memorandum of understanding might improve communication but it is not likely to cause fraud to rise up the police’s priorities.”

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