UPDATED – NATIS, the Bounce Back Loan Door-Kicking “Police” Become a Laughing Stock as They Have Their Official NATIS.Police.uk URL Removed and Police Email Addresses Cancelled, as its Revealed, They Are Simply Council Staff Working For Thurrock Council and Appear to Have Been Impersonating Police Officers!

NATIS, or as I liked to call them, the Bounce Back Loan Door-Kicking Police, once had pride of place of the official police website, using the www.NATIS.Police.uk web address.

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I covered their many exploits hunting and chasing Bounce Back Loan abusers, all of which you will find in this section of the website >https://mrbounceback.com/category/bbl-door-kicker-files/

However, it appears that the College of Policing who are the Domain Controllers for that web address, have removed it, as it cannot be accessed any more.

After some investigating, it looks that is down to a couple of recent Freedom of Information Requests, which will, as you can see below, enlighten you on who NATIS really are and where they operate from.

What makes this information somewhat farcical, is that if, for example, you have had your backdoors wrongly booted in by NATIS, and wish to make a complaint, you must complain to Thurrock council and not the Independent Office of Police Conduct! Not quite sure why or how they managed to masquerade as police officers for so long, but hey-ho, that is the BBL scheme for you.

To give you some added laughter, have a read of this when you get time >

Rogue businessman spent Thurrock’s millions on a life of luxury

Freedom of Information Request 1

Request

According to a 2019 report from the Local Government Association,(10.32 Outcomes of the Counter Fraud Fund_09.pdf (local.gov.uk) the CFID, which at the time was a joint partnership with Southend on Sea, Castle Point and South Essex Homes, became the National Investigation Service (NATIS) in 2018.

NATIS currently identifies itself as a Government Function, appointed by the Secretary of State for Business and Trade.

One of the directors of NATIS, David Kleinberg is identified in a number of reports as the as the Assistant Director, Head of National Investigation Service yet, at the same time, he also worked for Thurrock Council as the Assistant Director for Counter Fraud & Investigation and gave reports at committee meetings throughout 2019 though to 2022.

NATIS currently operates a postbox address with the same postcode as the Thurrock Council Offices in Grays.

This prompts the following questions

What was / is the business relationship between NATIS and Thurrock Council? (that is, is it a ‘for profit’ business entity spun off of the CFID?)

What support, in terms of office space, admin, post collection, or officer time, did Thurrock Council give to NATIS between 2018 and September 2022?

What support, in terms of office space, admin, post collection, or officer time, did Thurrock Council give to NATIS between September 2022 and 1st October 2023?

Was the role of Assistant Director for Counter Fraud and Investigation a full time role of Thurrock Council or a position occupied by a consultant / subcontractor?

Response:

What was / is the business relationship between NATIS and Thurrock Council? (that is, is it a ‘for profit’ business entity spun off of the CFID?)

The National Investigation Service (NATIS) is a department within Thurrock Council created to investigate serious crime in collaboration with government and law enforcement organisations across the UK where public authorities and their schemes are targeted. In 2020 NATIS adopted a primary focus on Covid incentivisation scheme related financial fraud.

What support, in terms of office space, admin, post collection, or officer time, did Thurrock Council give to NATIS between 2018 and September 2022?

NATIS is a department of Thurrock Council and occupy office space within Thurrock Council estate. All NATIS staff are employed by Thurrock. All administrative tasks including post collection are carried out by NATIS staff with the direct support of Thurrock Council.

What support, in terms of office space, admin, post collection, or officer time, did Thurrock Council give to NATIS between September 2022 and 1st October 2023?

As above

Was the role of Assistant Director for Counter Fraud and Investigation a full time role of Thurrock Council or a position occupied by a consultant / subcontractor?

A full time Thurrock employee was the Assistant Director of Counter Fraud and Investigation. This role encompassed the establishment of NATIS under Thurrock Council.

Freedom of Information Request 2

Request:

I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I have tried to find out this information on the Council websites but I have not been able to find it, if it is published, then please can you provide a link to the relevant page.

In that response it was stated that

“The National Investigation Service (NATIS) is a department within Thurrock Council created to investigate serious crime in collaboration with government and law enforcement organisations across the UK where public authorities and their schemes are targeted.”

It was also stated that

“NATIS is a department of Thurrock Council and occupy office space within Thurrock Council estate. All NATIS staff are employed by Thurrock. All administrative tasks including post collection are carried out by NATIS staff with the direct support of Thurrock Council.”

Based on the above, please provide a copy of the business agreement, contract, letter of understanding or similar document that authorises a Unitary Authority such as Thurrock to use a Police.UK web address, as used by NATIS (www.NATIS.Police.uk)

Also, please can you provide the following

  • The name of the portfolio holder within Thurrock for NATIS (as it is not on the NATIS website),
  • The complaints process for NATIS (as it is not present on the website), and,
  • If a complaint was made, and the person was not satisfied by the outcome, would escalated complaints be handled by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or the Independent Office of Police Conduct?

As ever, thank you in advance for your assistance with this enquiry.

I am happy to receive any information electronically.

Response:

  1. Please provide a copy of the business agreement, contract, letter of understanding or similar document that authorises a Unitary Authority such as Thurrock to use a Police.UK web address, as used by NATIS (www.NATIS.Police.uk).

The authority for NATIS to use a police.uk address was provided by the College of Policing, who are the domain controllers.

  1. The name of the portfolio holder within Thurrock for NATIS (as it is not on the NATIS website).

Cllr Andrew Jefferies.

  1. The complaints process for NATIS (as it is not present on the website)

The complaints process can be found via : General complaints | How to complain | Thurrock Council

  1. If a complaint was made, and the person was not satisfied by the outcome, would escalated complaints be handled by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or the Independent Office of Police Conduct?

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Udpate

George and James from The Times, picked up the story and ran with it too.

Official Comment

I asked both the British Business Bank and the Department for Business and Trade the following

“Any chance I can have a comment on the fake bounce back loan police that’s in the times this morning and can you reassure everyone with a BBL their private personal details have not been shared to council employees impersonating police officers.”

Here is the reply received in minutes from the British Business Bank

“The NATIS contract sits with the Department for Business and Trade so they are the ones who need to be approached for comment regarding the story in The Times.”

The Department for Business and Trade have spoken to me on the phone and I get the impression that they are working out an official reply…. I will let you know once they dream one up.