- Tyne Tees
Police have said that they do not believe that the "crash for cash" scam that took place in the North East, and for which 60 people have been convicted, is not just a local issue.
"We didn't just come across this activity. It was as a result of our communities telling us that organised crime groups were making their lives difficult.
"We acted on their information and used intelligence-led policing to take appropriate action as part of a larger operation against organised crime.
"This fraud is affecting every honest law-abiding car insurance holder.
"It's not just a local issue. We believe this to be a nationwide issue which needs to be tackled robustly."
They also spoke about the rise in insurance prices, particularly in the Derwentside area where the main players behind the scam lived, and about the effect that it had had upon the local community.
"In Derwentside car insurance premiums have increased well in excess of the national average, with motorists typically paying an extra £100 a year.
"This is an area with limited employment opportunities where many people have to travel out of the area to find work.
"They need their cars, yet they are hit with higher than average car insurance premiums. This is how criminal activity has a real impact on the well-being of a community."
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