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UK Corruption Statistics

The amount of money laundered through the UK each year is estimated to be £48 billion (2% of UK GDP).

Source: Paper Trail Money Laundering Bulletin, 01/06/11

27% of people contacted thought that UK companies report their performance as better than it is.

Source: Ernst and Young, ‘Navigating today’s complex resources-resources-business risks Europe Middle East, India and Africa Fraud Survey 2013‘, pg. 22

71% of UK citizens think corruption is a major problem in the UK

64% of people think corruption is part of the UK’s resources-resources-business culture

33% of people think that bribery or abuse of power is widespread among the police

Source: The European Commission, Special Eurobarometer 374: Corruption (2012) pgs. 123, 32, 134

Fraud is costing the UK around £73bn a year

Source: The National Fraud Authority, ‘Annual Fraud Indicator’ (March, 2012) pg. 3

‘Internal fraudsters are now reported to be responsible for 53% of detected economic crime [in the UK public sector].’

Source: PwC, ‘Fraud in public sector increases as cuts bite‘ 13/04/11

A 2005 Home Office report into drug smuggling into UK prisons found:

• that ‘via prison staff’ was the fourth most common route of drug supplying according to interviews with prisoners, former prisoners and prison staff

• 48% of interviewees identified staff as a route of supply.

Source: Penfold C., Turnball P.J. Webster R., (2005). Tackling prison drug markets: an exploratory qualitative study. Home Office, p. 15. Available online.


In 2011 Transparency International UK published a 3-volume report, Corruption in the UK. The research is the most comprehensive of its kind, examining twenty three secotors and institutions. Some of the findings are listed below:

  • 53.4% of respondents to our national opinion survey believe that corruption has increased either a little or a lot in the UK in the last three years; only 2.5% of respondents believe that corruption has decreased either a little or a lot.
  • 48.1% of respondents do not think the government is effective in tackling corruption; just over one quarter of respondents (25.9%) feel the government is effective and 25.9% are unsure.
  • 92.7% of respondents would like to report corruption but only 30.1% would know where to report it. (pg. 2)

Background information

  • There are at least 12 different agencies or government departments with partial responsibility for anti-corruption activities plus more than 40 police forces, and it is unclear whether they share information, collaborate on investigations, or share good practice on corruption prevention.
  • A leaked Metropolitan Police investigation in 2006 estimated that there are around 1000 corrupt prison officers currently working with a further 600 officers being involved in an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner.
  • In 2009 alone there were 10,090 prosecutions under the 2006 Fraud Act, with no indication as to how many may have included some elements of corruption.
  • In 2007 the Stevens Inquiry found that irregular payments had been involved in 17 football transfers.
  • It is currently estimated that 38000 people are involved in organised crime in the UK and such activities cost the economy anywhere between £20 and £30 billion per year.
  • Only 1.9% of respondents in our national opinion survey had paid a bribe in the past twelve months. Yet a 2006 survey for the construction sector found that 41% of respondents had personally been offered a bribe at least once in their career.
  • In fact 48% of construction professionals feel that corruption is commonplace within the UK construction industry according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).


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