Digital technology in action: Operation Nosedive

HMRC Press Office and the Fraud Investigation Service use ‘Go Pro’ in fraud raids

I’m Matthew, Head of News at HMRC. Most people associate GoPro technology with the world of extreme sports, capturing some mid-air snowboarding action or that moment of elation when a cyclist crosses the finish line. But this week, in a first for HMRC, GoPro cameras were used to capture a whole different kind of action shot – the moment officers from HMRC’s newly formed Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) arrested fourteen suspects in a £78 million landfill tax fraud codenamed Operation Nosedive.

Staff from HMRC’s Press Office worked alongside FIS investigators, who attached GoPro cameras to their protective vests. This allowed them to film the moment they entered the homes and business premises of some of the fourteen people suspected of the fraud. The cameras, which were remotely controlled by nearby Press Officers, were able to capture some amazing ‘frontline’ footage – with one screenshot being used to accompany a press release sent out later that morning to publicise the results of the operation. The story and photo were subsequently used by hundreds of regional and national news outlets.

Michelle Coulthard, who was one of the Senior Press Officers involved on the day, said: “The footage captured by the GoPros is amazing, it’s raw, dramatic and gives a unique insight into what it's really like working on our frontline. With thanks to our colleagues in FIS who agreed to wear the cameras on a harness, we have captured footage that will help us to really sell the story the media when the time comes.”

Go Pro used to record Operation Nosedive
HMRC Press Officers and Fraud Investigation Service use GoPro to record Operation Nosedive