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Fraud (Investigation)

Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his reply of 23 April, Official Report, column 419, if he will estimate the approximate proportion of the 261,302 investigations by staff of his Department, in the period 9 May 1984 to 12 March 1985, into cases of actual or suspected fraud by social security claimants that have led to, or are likely to lead to, prosecutions for serious offences; and if he will make a statement.

Figures relating to those particular investigations are not available but in the year ended 12 February 1985, prosecution was authorised by the Department in 6,945 cases. In addition, 4,038 prosecutions were brought by the police for social security offences — following initial investigations by the Department.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to the reply of 23 April, Official Report, column 419, if he will publish a list showing the numbers and grades of staff of his Department working, in the period 9 May 1984 to 12 March 1985, on the 261,302 investigations into cases of actual or suspected fraud by social security claimants; and if he will name and describe the administrative units in which these staff were working.

During the period in question, 1,813 man years were used on the investigation of benefit fraud. The staff are all located in local offices and are in grades ranging from clerical assistant to higher executive officer, inclusive, the majority being at executive officer level.