The Telegraph reports that Virgin Media paid for Met police services to bring a case against a fraudster that imported media boxes that allowed users to access Virgin Media TV services for free.
Virgin Media agreed to pay officers' overtime at a total cost of £5,060 following a series of raids that exposed an international scam that was costing the company £144 million a year.
Companies do pay for police services for example for events but covering costs for a fraud investigation is unusual. It seems like a balance for businesses saying we already pay for these services against cuts to police budgets and getting priority on an investigation and limiting damage from ongoing fraud. The maths seem simple £5k overtime to prevent a £144m fraud, but it brings a lot of questions, like is access to justice based around ability to pay?
Personally I feel, like with the payments to police offices from journalists current controversy, any mixture of police and payments will always end up badly. If a UK tax paying company has a serious fraud problem then it shouldn't have to fund police work to make a case for prosecution.
Having said that I don't see much problem with Virgin Media's actions who acted within the law to prevent a very big fraud. There are many ex police officers working for profit protection departments so there is already a cross-over there.