Fraud investigation

The council is committed to preventing fraud and error entering into the council’s various customer service areas, such as Benefits and Housing.

What we do about fraud

We have adopted the Verification Framework to deter people who make fraudulent applications or claims. The scheme was introduced to reduce the amount of fraud and error coming in and to allow any which does to be discovered more easily.

We will actively investigate any reported fraud against council provided services, actively seeking to recover any monies obtained fraudulently or fraudulent obtained property occupancy. We will utilise the powers conferred in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to recover compensation or criminal benefit through confiscation from those convicted of committing fraud against the authority. These powers will also be used to recover the criminal proceeds from those individuals also convicted of criminal offences within the council’s other enforcement areas, such as food safety, housing, licensing and planning offences.

The keys areas we investigate are:

  • blue badge fraud
  • council tax fraud
  • grant fraud
  • housing tenancy and sub-letting fraud
  • housing benefit and Council tax benefit fraud
  • other fraud against the authority, when committed by external or internal sources
  • procurement fraud.

Eliminating benefit fraud

We are keen to make prompt payments of Housing and Council Tax benefit to claimants, and equally keen to eliminate benefit fraud. The Fraud Investigation Team are responsible for detection and investigation of fraudulent claims, and are aided by all council employees, who report any suspicious benefit claims.

If it is proven that a person has committed a benefit fraud then they will be subject to one or more of the following actions against them:

  1. the recovery of the amount that they have received fraudulently;
  2. the charging of a penalty;
  3. prosecution through the courts (depending upon the circumstances).

Eliminating housing fraud

We are keen to allocate accommodation to claimants, but we are equally keen to eliminate fraudulent claims for housing or illegal subletting. For this reason we have a Fraud Investigation Team. The Investigations team work in conjunction with the council's housing teams, authority maintenance contractors and our tenants who report any suspicions regarding lawful tenancy and unlawful sub-letting.

If it is proven that a person has committed a housing or sub-letting fraud then they will be subject to one or more of the following actions against them:

  1. the recovery for possession of the property
  2. prosecution through the courts (depending upon the circumstances)
  3. recovery of any unlawful rents obtained.

Other fraud

We will investigate all other fraud that comes to light with a view of:

  1. prosecution through the courts (depending upon the circumstances) or persuing internal disciplinary action
  2. recovery of any monies or property obtained through the fraudulent act(s).

Corporate fraud policies