The council is committed to preventing fraud and error entering into the council’s various customer service areas, such as Benefits and Housing.
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:
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:
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:
We will investigate all other fraud that comes to light with a view of: