We consider any allegations of fraud, loss or corruption to be very serious and will investigate them as a matter of urgency.
Fraud costs councils across the country an estimated £2 billion every year. We employ a corporate anti-fraud team through Veritau, who investigate any fraud committed against us, covering the following:
Misuse of a disabled person’s parking badge, also known as a blue badge, is an offence, and in some cases may constitute fraud.
We are committed to taking action against blue badge fraud and misuse and in serious cases offenders will be prosecuted.
It's a criminal offence to display a blue badge unless the badge holder is in the vehicle, or the vehicle is being used to pick up or drop off the holder.
It is also an offence for an individual to use a resident’s parking permit, or visitor scratch cards if they are not resident at the property or visiting the stated property at the time of use.
A large amount of tax payers’ money goes towards providing social care for those with care and support needs. This can be through funding a person’s residential care, providing care in their home, or through a personal budget, allowing the person to have more control over the care they receive.
There are a number of different types of fraud that can occur in this area, one of which is direct payment fraud. This is where a person receiving care, or someone acting on their behalf, may be misusing the money they receive from the council. Other examples of fraud in this area are financial abuse of a vulnerable person and failing to declare capital during a financial assessment.
We have a duty of care towards those with care and support needs, and so any fraud committed in relation to a person’s care can lead to the council having to pay more towards their care than it should be, to safeguard the person’s wellbeing. Any money lost as a result of fraud committed is money that could have been used elsewhere.
We investigate schools applications where it is believed that an incorrect address has been provided in order to gain a place at a specific school. We may withdraw a school place or block an application at any time if an application is found to be fraudulent or intentionally misleading.
Reporting fraud and making a whistleblowing complaint
If you're aware of, or suspect, fraud is being committed against the council then please report it. We are reliant on members of the public reporting suspected fraud to us, and we look into all reports that we receive. Any information you have can be provided anonymously if you wish.
You can also make a whistleblowing complaint under our whistleblowing policy.
Proactive fraud and data matching exercises
We carry out regular checks to protect the council against fraud. This includes matching our data to the information held by other organisations. We also carry out reviews of claims and applications in order to check whether people’s circumstances may have changed.
Data matching exercises that we carry out include the National Fraud Initiative, Housing Benefit Matching Service and local initiatives involving other organisations we work with closely in this area.
Where appropriate, we'll share information with the Department for Work and Pensions, other councils and relevant organisations.
We've set out how we use the information you provide to us in our fair processing notice.