News item

City of York Council’s elite scambusters win national recognition

The City of York Council-based Scambuster team has been honoured in a national award scheme for the recovery of assets and proceeds of crime, the National Crime Agency has announced today (2 April 2014).

The elite trading standards team which works out of City of York Council, was awarded two honours for the nationally-important Keith Hughes Awards 2013:  

  • Runner up for the Individual award - Sue Rumford (Team Leader of the Scambuster team, Yorkshire & Humber Trading Standards, based at City of York Council)

  • Runners up for the Team award - The Scambuster team, Yorkshire and Humber Trading Standards in partnership with the North Eastern Regional Asset Recovery Team (RART).

Now in its tenth year, the awards are open to all Accredited Financial Investigators across the UK and recognise the achievements of teams and individuals who have made an outstanding contribution within the financial investigation field. Those recognised by the awards have helped reduce harm caused by crime through exceptional work recovering proceeds of crime.  

Among the Scambuster team’s achievements are ensuring that three company directors of Compass Mobility Limited were ordered at Leeds Crown Court to pay back £209,655. This was for the firm’s exploitation of elderly and vulnerable consumers, and followed an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act by York’s Scambuster Team working with the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team. 

Nominees for the awards had to demonstrate success in some or all of the following criteria:

  • Determination over a protracted period 
  • Innovation 
  • Ability to confront and achieve success in the face of great complexity and/or adversity 
  • Highest standards of integrity and professionalism 
  • Have delivered a substantial outcome for the public interest 
  • Leadership.

In 2013 the judges said that the quality of the nominations was extremely high and there was immense difficulty in selecting the winners.

Councillor Linsay Cunningham-Cross, Cabinet Member for Crime and Stronger Communities, said: “This well-deserved recognition for our excellent team is a just reflection of the outstanding results they have achieved. Their expertise and the work they do gives out a clear message to people involved in fraudulent activity that we will not let them get away with exploiting people.”

Detective Inspector Andrew Eaton, Head of North East RART, said: “It is very pleasing to see that the hard work and dedication of the investigation team partnership has been recognised in these nationally recognised awards and we will continue to work together to tackle organised crime within our communities."

Steve Wilkinson, Head of Proceeds of Crime at The National Crime Agency, said: “The Keith Hughes Awards recognise excellence in the field of financial investigation, and all this year’s recipients should feel proud of their recognition. Financial investigation is fundamental to our fight against organised crime, as it is by tackling the money behind criminal activity that we have the most enduring impact against those involved in serious and organised crime.”


For more information about this case contact the regional Scambusters office on (insert regional number) or to speak to the National Trading Standards Board regarding a more general enquiry please contact the Trading Standards Institute press office on 0845 6089430 or

Notes to editors

The National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board was established by the Government to improve the enforcement of laws intended to tackle rogue traders operating both regionally and nationally who are causing harm to consumers and legitimate businesses. The NTSB also issues grants and funds national and regional initiatives such as the Illegal Money Lending Teams, Safety at Ports Team and the National Trading Standards eCrime Team.

Scambusters is a NTSB funded project aimed at targeting rogue trading and scams across England and Wales, supporting all local authority areas in England and Wales. There are separate arrangements in place in Scotland.

DATE: 2 April 2014