Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

DSS MINISTERS IN NATIONWIDE FRAUD BLITZ

  • Comment
Benefit cheats in all four corners of Britain were targeted by social security secretary Peter Lilley and his minis...
Benefit cheats in all four corners of Britain were targeted by social security secretary Peter Lilley and his ministerial team, as they launched 13 new 'Spotlight' campaigns against benefit fraud.

For the first time, an entire DSS ministerial team was despatched to 13 areas across the country to launch a campaign covering 21 towns, cities and boroughs. This nationwide campaign builds on the huge success of the National Benefit Fraud Hotline, which has received over 80,000 calls from members of the public since its launch in August.

Mr Lilley said: 'Benefit cheats costs the taxpayer some £3bn every year - the equivalent of 20 new hospitals or 120,000 teachers. Benefit fraud is a particularly selfish crime. Every pound lost through fraud is a pound that could be used by those in genuine need.

'People on modest incomes resent fraudsters who rip off the social security system and end up better off than honest hardworking people.

'That's why my team and I are determined to continue cracking down on fraud. The Spotlight campaign proved hugely successful in 22 areas earlier this year, producing savings of over £40m so far. We are now extending the campaign to 13 new areas from Inverness to Ilford - unlucky for benefit cheats, but good news for the taxpayer.

'My message to benefit cheats everywhere is clear: the net is tightening - stop now or you will be caught.'

Spotlight campaigns were launched today in the following areas:

Luton and Dunstable, Canterbury and Thanet, Waltham Forest and Redbridge, Exeter, Newport and Cwmbran, Coventry, Inverness, Leicester, Sheffield, Hull, Warrington and Widnes, Wigan & Leigh, Coatbridge, Clydebank and Dumbarton.

After two weeks of intensive local publicity to warn people to put their affairs in order, a crackdown will begin involving:

-- a 'freephone' hotline number - 0800 854 440 - to tell DSS staff in confidence about suspected fraud

-- local data-matching exercises to identify cases meriting investigation

-- special drives on types of employers and self- employed likely to be involved in benefit fraud

-- higher profile for housing benefit fraud, particularly where landlords may be involved

-- extra home visits on new and existing claimants

Since April this year Spotlights in 22 other areas have generated more than 14,000 phone calls from the public, and produced savings of over £40m.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.