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Fraud Investigation

Volume 931: debated on Tuesday 10 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many special investigators of his Department cover the Southwark area; how many cases to investigate have been passed in the last 12 months by local fraud officers in the Southwark area to the special investigation staff; how many prosecutions have resulted; and what is the average number of cases per week fully investigated to a conclusion by the special investigation staff covering the Southwark area.

Three special investigators are attached to local offices which cover about 85 per cent. of the Southwark area, and during the 12 months from 1st April 1976 to 31st March 1977 some 260 cases were referred to them. On average, 4ยท6 per cent. investigations per week were completed in that time. It would not be meaningful to supply figures of prosecutions in the same period as these would not necessarily relate to the cases investigated in the year.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether investigations into alleged abuse of social security benefits by special investigation staff in Southwark are commonly not now fully conducted until five months after the alleged abuse was committed; and if he will make a statement.

The majority of investigations undertaken in the Southwark area are completed in under five months from the date of the alleged offence.