New ‘fraud-fighting force’ in Lincolnshire

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The Lincolnshire Counter Fraud Partnership is cracking down on people falsely claiming discounts on their council tax, as part of wider fraud initiatives.

Lincolnshire’s councils have teamed up to raise fraud awareness, share resources and expertise, and pool fraud intelligence. Despite efforts to reduce it, nationally fraud costs local government an estimated £2 billion every year.

Fraud against local authorities includes false claims for housing, council tax discounts and Blue Badges, plus dishonest use of grant and contract awards.

The Partnership is made up of teams from the county council and all seven district councils. It aims to minimise fraud and protect taxpayers money by using advanced data matching, cross referencing techniques and investigation. The first area they are targeting is false claims for single person discount and council tax support.

Lucy Pledge, Head of Corporate Audit & Risk Management, said: “If you commit fraud against a council in Lincolnshire, there really is no place to hide. Although we are starting by looking at council tax, we will also be carrying out investigations into other types of fraud too. This includes procurement and contract fraud and housing tenancy fraud such as using false information to access housing or unlawful subletting. We want to send a strong message that if you try to cheat the system, we will be using all the resources at our disposal to protect the public purse.”

If you suspect fraud against a Lincolnshire council, please report it now to the confidential hotline on 0800 0853716 or email whistleblowing@lincolnshire.gov.uk