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Social Security Benefits: Fraud

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Yorkshire East of 10 November 2009, Official Report, columns 303-04W, on social security benefits: fraud, when she expects her Department to publish the results of its voice risk analysis pilot schemes; and when she expects to decide whether to roll-out such schemes nationally. (319460)

Department analysts are currently evaluating the Voice Risk Analysis pilot results. Work is expected to be completed in the next few months. Next steps will be considered once the evaluation has been completed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in respect of how many people allegations of benefit fraud were investigated in (a) Scotland, (b) the Highlands and (c) England and Wales in each of the last three years; how many such people were subsequently (i) cautioned and (ii) prosecuted and convicted of such offences in each such year; and how many of those convicted in each such year received a (A) custodial sentence, (B) community sentence and (C) discharge. (320126)

The available information is in the tables:

Number of investigations

National

Scotland

England and Wales

2006-07

128,443

2007-08

194,549

2008-09

156,089

14,574

141,515

Notes: 1. The number of people investigated and cautioned was collected on a national basis only for 2006-07 and 2007-08 and cannot therefore be provided for Scotland, the Highlands, England and Wales. 2. The information requested is available for 2008-09. However, figures for the Highlands cannot be separated out and are included within those for Scotland. Source: Fraud and Error by Sector (FIBS) and Fraud Referral and Intervention Management system (FRAIMS).

Number of cautions

National

Scotland

England and Wales

2006-07

11,976

2007-08

12,821

2008-09

14,320

1,738

12,582

Notes: 1. The number of people investigated and cautioned was collected on a national basis only for 2006-07 and 2007-08 and cannot therefore be provided for Scotland, the Highlands, England and Wales. 2. The information requested is available for 2008-09. However, figures for the Highlands cannot be separated out and are included within those for Scotland. Source: Fraud and Error by Sector (FIBS) and Fraud Referral and Intervention Management system (FRAIMS).

Numbers of convictions, custodial sentences, community sentences and discharges in England and Wales

Conviction

Custodial sentence

Community sentence

Discharge

2006-07

6,756

613

2,387

1,732

2007-08

7,628

511

2,703

2,202

2008-09

6,581

463

2,442

1,516

Notes: 1. The number of people convicted and receiving a custodial/community sentence and discharge cannot be broken down for England and Wales. 2. The figures provided for convictions do not necessarily relate to the investigations undertaken in the years mentioned above because of the time taken to progress cases through the courts. Source: Sol Prosecution's Division Computerised Information System.

Numbers of convictions, custodial sentences, community sentences and discharges in Scotland

Conviction

Custodial sentence

Community sentence

Discharge

2006-07

105

3

28

2

2007-08

117

11

77

5

2008-09

119

4

65

0

Note: In Scotland, responsibility for prosecutions lies with the Procurator Fiscal. The figures represent cases where information on outcomes has been provided by the Procurator Fiscal to the Department for Work and Pensions and recorded on our systems. Consequently, they may not be complete. The figures for the Highlands cannot be separated out and are included within those for Scotland. Source: Fraud and Error by Sector (FIBS) and Fraud Referral and Intervention Management system (FRAIMS).