Toronto, Ontario – Police across the Canada will have access to special training throughout 2012 to help them learn more about “staged” collisions, auto fraud rings and associated service supplier fraud.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and the Canadian Police Knowledge Network are sponsoring free access to the Identifying Staged Collisions online training course for front-line officers.

“Staged” collisions are crashes that are set up in order to collect hefty insurance payouts. They are becoming increasingly common in Canada’s urban centres. Insurance fraud is often linked to organized crime, with the proceeds believed to be used to fund other illegal activities within and beyond Canada’s borders.

“Insurance fraud is a serious problem right across Canada and we all pay for it in the form of increased premiums,” said Rick Dubin, vice-president of investigative services for IBC. “In terms of staged collisions, at times, innocent drivers are drawn into these dangerous situations and we hope this initiative will help police deal with the crime. The more informed police officers are on this issue, the more we can disrupt and disable these types of criminal operations.”

Ontario’s insurance industry has been hit the hardest and the province has initiated measures to counteract auto-related fraud. In addition to tighter government reforms to help eliminate insurance loopholes, IBC has partnered with York Regional Police to develop online training through Identifying Staged Collisions. The 45-minute online course uses videos to illustrate common types of staged collision scenarios and provides information on the various signs, indicators and behaviours that may characterize a staged collision.

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