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Nine held in insurance fraud raids

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Nine people have been arrested in a nationwide police operation targeting bogus household insurance claims.

Four men and five women were held across England as part of an investigation into claims totalling £450,000 that are suspected to have been repeated, exaggerated or made up, police said.

The largest claim being investigated is for diamond jewellery, cash and electrical items purportedly worth £60,000, which were reported stolen during a burglary at a London house.

Police are also investigating a £1,750 claim for settees said to have been covered in paint when a man fell off a ladder while decorating his living room in Essex .

Another under scrutiny is £2,500 for a bathroom suite in Greater Manchester after it was allegedly destroyed when a woman fell while getting out of her bath, flooding the floor and cracking the sink and toilet.

Three suspects were arrested in London, with two held in Essex and one in each in Gwent, Norfolk, Surrey and the West Midlands.

A further seven people will attend police stations to be interviewed at a later date. All sixteen are aged between 21 and 61.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Wood, head of the insurance fraud enforcement department, said: "Today's nationwide operation involving 60 City of London Police officers demonstrates the force's continued commitment to targeting those believed to be trying to trick insurers with bogus claims.

"It may seem like a simple way to top up your bank account or swap old for new but ultimately anyone who lies about losing or damaging household items is committing insurance fraud and should not be surprised when insurance fraud enforcement department detectives come knocking at their door."