Confronting the 'fraud bottleneck': private sanctions for fraud and their implications for justice

Button, Mark, Wakefield, Alison, Brooks, Graham ORCID:, Lewis, Chris and Shepherd, David (2015) Confronting the 'fraud bottleneck': private sanctions for fraud and their implications for justice. Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, 1 (3). pp. 159-174. ISSN 2056-3841

[thumbnail of Button-etal-2015-Confronting-the-fraud-bottleneck-private-sanctions-for-fraud.pdf]
Button-etal-2015-Confronting-the-fraud-bottleneck-private-sanctions-for-fraud.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (443kB) | Preview


The aim of this paper is to illustrate the ways in which contemporary organisations are imposing their own private sanctions on fraudsters.


The research draws on primary data from interviews with counter fraud practitioners in the UK, secondary sources and case examples.


Such developments have been stimulated, at least in part, by the broader limitations of the criminal justice system and in particular a 'fraud bottleneck'. Alongside criminal sanctions, many examples were provided of organisations employing private prosecutions innovative forms of civil sanction and 'pseudo state' sanctions, most commonly civil penalties comparable to fines.

Research limitations/ implications

Such changes could mark the beginning of the 'rebirth of private prosecution' and the further expansion of private punishment. Growing private involvement in state sanctions and the development of private sanctions represents a risk to traditional guarantees of justice. There are differences in which comparable frauds are dealt with by corporate bodies and thus considerable inconsistency in sanctions imposed. In contrast with criminal justice measures, there is no rehabilitative element to private sanctions. More research is needed to assess the extent of such measures, and establish what is happening, the wider social implications, and whether greater state regulation is needed.

What is original/value of paper

The findings are of relevance to criminal justice policy makers, academics and counter fraud practitioners in the public and private sectors.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1108/JCRPP-04-2015-0006
Additional Information: As accepted for publication.
Keywords: Fraud, Justice, Private Sanctions, Policing
Subjects: Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice > Criminology
Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice > Policing and criminal investigations
Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice > Sentencing
Depositing User: Graham Brooks
Date Deposited: 28 Dec 2017 14:05
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:55


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item