BRADFORD is named as one of the top ten worst places in the country for "crash for cash" - accidents staged deliberately to claim injury compensation, according to figures revealed today.

These induced accidents are at an all-time high nationally, according to insurance company Aviva, which has seen a 21 per cent increase in organised fraud cases in the last year and is blaming organised gangs for the sharp rise.

Bradford is ninth in a list of the top ten postcodes for crash for cash fraud, according to the firm, with Birmingham, Luton, North London, Manchester and Leeds the top five hotspots.

The company added that these fraudulent claims were adding about £14 on every motor insurance premium, with such claims in the Birmingham area alone totalling more than £4.7 million through to August this year.

Aviva says that more than 50 per cent of its motor injury claims fraud is now organised in nature and it has more than 6,500 suspicious injury claims linked to known fraud rings.

In order to help reduce insurance premiums, Aviva is calling for a change in the rules, taking away the financial incentive by treating minor whiplash injuries with rehabilitation rather than cash compensation.

Tom Gardiner, head of claims fraud for Aviva’s UK and Ireland General Insurance business, said: “Crash for cash is not just a financial problem – it’s a serious social problem. No other form of insurance fraud puts the public at risk of serious injury.

“Imagine you're driving the kids to school when the car in front slams on their brakes without warning, leaving you no chance of avoiding a crash. These deliberate accidents are on the increase, putting innocent motorists at risk simply so the driver in front can get cash compensation."

He added: “The fight against fraud begins with an effective deterrent. In addition to more prosecutions and stronger sentences, we need to remove the financial incentive for minor whiplash claims like those claimed for by serial crash for cash fraudsters. We are asking the Government to consider compensating short-term whiplash with rehabilitation, instead of cash. Would crash for cash exist if there was no money in it? We don’t think so.”

Bradford East MP David Ward, who has been campaigning for affordable car insurance premiums, welcomed the call.

He said: "Rather than writing a big cheque that lets you go out and buy a new frock or suit, if we were to say, there is something wrong with you, so we will send you to a physio for treatment, it would then act as a huge disincentive for fraudulent claims.

"It would be a very important step forward.

"In the past it has been just too easy for people to make fabricated and fictitious claims because insurance companies were too ready to pay out £2,000 to £3,000 rather than to get a second medical opinion or challenge its legality."

The MP's report into the car insurance industry in 2011 highlighted that Bradford had one of the highest levels of personal injury claims and instances of insurance fraud in the country.

He added that he had recently met representatives from the British Insurance Brokers' Association, which was also calling on the Government to make changes.