May 24, 2012

Great Horton is one of the most charming and picturesque corners of the delightful West Yorkshire town of Bradford. Situated conveniently adjacent to the impressively efficient modern ring road, and encompassing lively and characterful communities like Pickles Hill, Horton Bank Bottom and the aptly named Paradise Green, Great Horton is also home to a 31-year-old man recently detained by Her Majesty’s Constabulary on suspicion of “ghost broking”.

Officers from the City of London’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Division (IFED) (whose role – despite the confusing name – is not to make sure insurance fraud happens, but in fact the precise opposite) decided to get involved after disturbing reports reached their metropolitan ears that somewhere in the Bradford area there might be someone involved in some kind of insurance fraud.

Specifically, word on the street was that, bizarrely, “a man, 31” had been pretending to be an insurance broker in order to “offer drivers cheap premiums.”

“Insurance policies were obtained by providing the insurance company with forged documentation and false details in order to reduce the premiums,” the Bradford Telegraph and Argus and Enquirer and Citizen reported this week. “Victims were then charged more than the actual cost of the premium and made to pay a handling fee.” Imagine doing all that without even being a proper broker!

Detective Constable Steve Kelly, of the IFED, said the arrested man, 31, was suspected of committing “fraud by false representation relating to the inception of 47 motor insurance policies” and is now on bali while investigations continue. Who knew such things could go on in a sleepy little community like Great Horton?

Let this be a lesson, Kelly said: “In a short space of time [since its formation in January this year] IFED has sent out a clear message that insurance fraud in all its forms will not be tolerated, wherever it has been committed. IFED making an arrest in Bradford is evidence of how committed we are to changing this culture.”

If such things can happen in Bradford – on Bankstone News’ very doorstep, no less – it certainly makes you wonder. Makes us wonder, anyway.


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