Benefit cheats beware as Richmond cracks down on council tax fraud


The council secured extra funding to investigate social housing fraud.


By Lawrence Ostlere

Richmond welfare cheats are being hunted down after figures released this week identified more than £270,000 in overpaid benefits.

Investigations have unearthed the overpayments in housing benefit and previously paid council tax relief from April to September this year, the council’s fraud update report revealed.

 Richmond Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources, Geoffrey Samuel, said: “There is nowhere for these people to hide and the council is better equipped than ever before to ensure these crimes are uncovered and prosecutions secured.

“Benefit cheats be warned, the council has the tools at its disposal to weed you out and we will not stop until you are all found.”

Benefit cheats across Richmond and Kingston were dealt a further blow when Richmond’s investigations team secured additional government funding to work with the borough’s housing associations to investigate social housing fraud.

The money has been invested to fund one Housing Intelligence Officer, and three in-house Housing Fraud Investigators.

“The council’s dedicated team of fraud investigators are simply doing an outstanding job in protecting our taxpayers and the borough’s most vulnerable residents from benefit cheats,” Cllr Samuel added.

 Photo courtesy of le Korrigan, with thanks. 

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