It’s always good to see local industries thriving. But in this case we’re not so sure.

Local paper the Huddersfield Examiner says it’s alarmed by new figures showing that the town (for clarity’s sake, we’re talking about the urban conurbation of Huddersfield, not the football club of that name) is on track to snatch the top spot in the premier league of UK car insurance fraud. Ruthless crash for cash tactics have fueled a meteoric rise.

Currently only ninth in the table, behind local rivals and current league leaders Bradford and transpennine stalwarts Blackburn, Liverpool, Oldham, Manchester and Bolton ‚ third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh respectively ‚ Huddersfield has nevertheless moved strongly up the table since coming up through the play-offs from car fraud’s first division in 2007 and could yet clinch a European place as soon as next season.

Law firm Keoghs says: “Huddersfield has seen a substantial increase in suspicious claims.” Back in 2007 Huddersfield was 24 places off the top spot, accounting for only 1.2% of all suspicious claims across the country. But now, say the law men, “after two years of back-to-back growth in claims, the town is ninth on the list, accounting for 3.2% of all suspicious claims.”

“It will be interesting to see whether the town experiences a third year of growth in 2009,” Keogh’s concludes. It might be interesting if there’s a fee involved, but Bankstone News will be giving the car in front an extra-wide berth for a while ‚ particularly at roundabouts.

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