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Crackdown on fraud in the borough

Published on Thursday, 18th August 2016

Benefit fraud poster small

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has united with other Warwickshire local authorities in a crackdown on fraud.

Residents in the county who receive or are applying for social care grants, tenancy and council tax discounts will have their details shared across each authority and the data matched so that any discrepancies can be immediately identified. This will help identify potential fraud, and any errors, more quickly. 

Warwickshire Counter Fraud Partnership, formed by Warwickshire County Council and the five district and borough councils, is urging residents to notify their local council of changes to their circumstances otherwise they may be committing fraud which can lead to prosecution or a fine. 

Changes in circumstances could be a child turning 18, renting out a room or moving in with a partner or sub-letting a property without permission.  

Residents will also be encouraged to notify their local council if they have information on suspected fraudulent activity.

Fraud diverts money away from front line public services such as schools and community services. 

The Protecting the English Public Purse 2015 report identified that English councils detected fewer cases of fraud in 2014/15 than in previous years (a reduction of 18%) while their value increased by 11% to greater than £207 million. 

Dennis Harvey, leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said:

“This is a serious problem nationwide and here at the council we want to make sure that our residents are aware of what constitutes fraud. 

“A simple change in circumstance and not informing the authorities can lead to a prosecution. We also need the resident’s cooperation to help reduce the instances of deceit in the borough by reporting any suspected fraudulent activity.”

Councillor Kam Kaur, portfolio holder for customers at Warwickshire County Council, said:

“I urge all residents in Warwickshire to contact their respective councils to update their details with any recent changes to circumstances and help to reduce fraud within Warwickshire.”

Councillor Matt Western, chair of the Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said:

“The new information systems introduced by the Warwickshire Counter Fraud Partnership will help to reduce fraud within Warwickshire. 

“This will ensure the money saved can be spent on providing vital services for the local community.”

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