With UK fraud costing nearly £20 billion a year, a new survey commissioned by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) has called for measures to tackle the growing problem.

The survey arrives at its figure by taking into account the cost of fighting fall types of fraud and includes £6bn for accounting fraud like tax evasion or under-reporting. Professor Michael Levi, a Cardiff University criminologist and economic crime specialist who led the Acpo report's authors said figures were developed their from data submitted by numerous private sector surveys, trade bodies, and from the public sector.

Mike Bowron, Commissioner of the City of London Police on behalf of Acpo, said: "Lying to secure financial benefit is fast becoming endemic in British life." Acpo is calling for the establishment of a National Fraud Reporting Centre as suggested in last year’s Fraud Review, which also highlighted weaknesses in the public sector response to fraud and a lack of available police resources to tackle it.

The government is due to publish its response to consultations on the review on 15 March.