Wiltshire public help council combat fraud

Wiltshire public help council combat fraud





£300k investment in new technology is helping clamp down on tenancy fraud in Wiltshire, but figures show people are still the best aid in helping Wiltshire Council tackle fraud. Wiltshire Council won Government investment to launch data matching technology to identify housing tenancy fraud. It was rolled out across the council’s housing stock September this year and already there are 10 cases being investigated and a further 40 in the pipeline. Tenancy fraud involves someone living somewhere other than their social housing home and subletting the whole or part of their home to someone else without the consent of their landlord. Those  applying to succeed to a tenancy under false circumstances and giving false information when applying for social housing are also committing tenancy fraud.  The software has helped identify tenancy fraud risks and a new law can be used to help save public resources to free up homes for those in genuine need. More than 65 percent of referrals come through the fraud hotline, the council website or via the My Wiltshire app. The council has just released its latest figures showing how the work of its corporate investigation team, alongside public help, has helped combat fraud. The team has been building on its successes since it was set up in the summer of 2014 to investigate fraud in a wide range of areas including tenancy, housing benefit, blue badge, direct payments for social care and council tax discounts. In the half year from April 2015 to the end of September 2015, investigations have resulted in:

  • 4 Blue Badges cancelled
  • 34 Benefit claims cancelled
  • 31 Single person discounts for council tax cancelled
  • 1 School place withdrawn

The figures have been released as the council supports International Fraud Awareness Week (15 to 21 November) a global campaign which promotes anti-fraud awareness and education. Dick Tonge, cabinet member for finance said: “We’re using the latest technology to help ensure homes are provided to people who need them and not used by those who may be cheating the system. “Our teams are working alongside the public who continue to be our biggest allies in combating fraud. If you think someone is obtaining money from the council illegally let us know through the fraud hotline on 01249 706256.”

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