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Council anti-fraud efforts rewarded with property recoveries

Published on Monday, 13th May 2019

You can help stop fraud

Benefit, council tax and housing tenancy fraud has a significant drain on the public purse and diverts money and resources away from front line public services.

At NBBC were have a zero tolerance to any such activity and have a dedicated Fraud Officer who is responsible for investigating instances of suspected fraud within the Borough.

We encourage members of the local community to report suspected fraudulent activity no matter how large or small, and this can be provided anonymously and will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Our dedicated fraud officer works closely with colleagues at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to ensure the local interest of NBBC and the community it serves are highlighted and promoted.

Between June 2018 and the end of March 2019, there have been 99 local fraud investigations conducted by our fraud office, and a significant proportion of these have had a suspected ‘tenancy fraud’ element to them. Where this is the case, these investigations have been conducted in conjunction with the Housing Department and individual Housing Officers.

As a direct result of this collaborative approach, 18 Council properties have been recovered by the Council and made available for new tenants.

We would like to say a big thank you to members of the local community who have provided information regarding suspected abandonment and illegal sub-letting of Council owned properties. This information has been invaluable and has had a direct, positive impact on the recovery of the properties in question. “Thank You”.

Housing tenancy fraud is illegal and has a damaging direct impact upon the Council and the residents it serves. Common examples of tenancy fraud include; not using the property as the sole or principal home, abandonment, unlawful subletting and contrived tenancy. Any such fraudulent activity has a significant impact of the Council’s ability to provide the right home to the right occupant.

Common examples of benefit fraud include; not declaring household income, not declaring savings or capital, not declaring a partner or other adults living with them. Any change of circumstances should be reported to the relevant authority. The Department Of Work and Pensions deal with and investigate the majority of such cases, which includes Housing Benefit fraud. To report an incident to the DWP, visit gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud.

If you know of or suspect any local fraudulent activity relating to benefit fraud, for example, in connection with the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, Council Tax and Non Domestic Rates,  or housing tenancy fraud, please contact NBBC directly in the first instance at our dedicated fraud email hotline Fraud@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk Alternatively you can contact the council customer services by telephone 02476 376376, by email at customer.services@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk, or in person at the Town Hall.

Further information regarding fraud reduction can be found on our website www.nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk

Cllr Julie Jackson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council said:

“Our collaborative work with DWP as well as the cooperation from the local community has been rewarded with excellent results.

"I am so pleased that we have seen such great participation from our local residents and as such, much needed council housing has been made available for letting to those on our waiting list again. I would like to thank our fraud team and residents for working together to achieve these great results, well done all.”