Benefit Fraud Investigations

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Date of Request: 04 June 2014

Date of Disclosure: 04 June 2014

Please find Devon County Council’s response to each of the questions below;

  1. Could you please list the number of occasions a member of the public has reported to you that they believed a person (or persons) has been falsely claiming benefits or lying about their living circumstances to authorities between April 1, 2012 and April 1, 2014?
  2. Could you please separate the data by tax year (so April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2013 and April 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014).
  3. Could you specify what type of fraud the caller/person reporting the case suspected had been committed (ie. living with a partner but not informing authorities, sub-letting, lying about circumstances, council tax fraud etc).
  4. Could you also explain what the outcome of each investigation was (ie.
  5. Whether the person was prosecuted for fraud, cautioned, had their benefits stopped or there was no further action).
  6. Where people’s benefits were stopped could you detail how much money was saved by that action (where possible).
  7. And finally could you detail how much the council has identified in benefits overpayments over each of the two financial years.

Please note that Devon County Council is not the responsible for administering or issuing benefit payments. Furthermore we are not responsible for investigating benefit fraud.  Therefore the Council does not hold the information you request. Responsibility for making benefit payments and for investigating benefit fraud rests with each of the District and Unitary Councils in Devon.  I therefore suggest that you contact each of these organisations directly to obtain the information you require.

In the interest of providing you advice and assistance, please find details for each of the district councils in Devon on our website at:

http://www.devon.gov.uk/district_councils.htm

Details for the unitary councils of Plymouth City and Torbay Borough Council are available below:

http://www.devon.gov.uk/unitary_councils.htm