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Research: UK Police "unaware of ties" between crime and gambling damage

According to research conducted by the Commission on Crime and Gambling Related Harms, the police fail to recognise the connection between crime and gambling-related damage.

The Commission, led by Lord Goldsmith QC, has performed three major investigative research projects, with Dr. Helen Churcher of the Howard League for Penal Reform conducting this most recent study.

Four out of ten police forces in England and Wales do not inquire about gambling during interviews with detainees, despite known correlations between gambling damage and violent and theft-related offences.

According to the report, this police failure renders them unable of efficiently identifying and combating crimes directly connected to gaming.

Speaking on the results of the research, Lord Goldsmith QC said: “With four in 10 forces stating that they do not screen for gambling harms at the police station, clearly opportunities to reduce crime and help people to turn their lives around are being missed.”

The Commission filed Freedom of Information requests to 44 police forces in England and Wales, requesting detailed information about screening and treatment protocols for gambling-related harm and addiction.

Two out of ten police departments test for gambling harm and addiction, and just half of the remaining departments appear to be aware of the issue, according to the report.

Lord Goldsmith QC went on to argue that the Commission's work should pave the way for reform so that not just police, but also prosecutors, magistrates, judges, and probation officers become better aware of the issue and how to combat it.



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