Fraud squad is making a mark

Fraudsters in Northumberland have been warned that a dedicated team is on their trail.

Northumberland County Council’s Corporate Fraud Team was established last year to crack down on false benefit and revenue claims.

Newly-released figures show that in its first nine months, the squad has detected £1.5million of fraud and conducted more than 500 investigations, resulting in one person being sent to prison and 10 suspended sentences being imposed.

The team has identified housing benefit overpayments of £659,614, recovering £116,864 so far, as well as recovering Council Tax benefit overpayments of £96,567.

It has also led to the withdrawal of 24 Right To Buy applications for council properties, and is investigating tenancy fraud and Blue Badge misuse.