“No place to hide” as Lincolnshire councils launch fraud crackdown

A new fraud-fighting force cracking down on people falsely claiming discounts on their council tax has been introduced.

Councils in Lincolnshire have teamed up to raise fraud awareness, share resources and expertise, and pool fraud intelligence.

The Lincolnshire Counter Fraud Partnership is made up of groups 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 targeted is false claims for single person discount and council tax support.

Other areas to be monitored in due course will be false claims for housing and Blue Badges, as well as the dishonest use of grant and contract award funds.

Despite efforts to reduce it, nationally fraud costs local government an estimated £2 billion every year.

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, report it to the confidential hotline on 0800 0853716 or email whistleblowing@lincolnshire.gov.uk