Fraud costs the public sector an estimated £20 billion per year, £2 billion is lost by local government alone. Fraud has an impact on the level of council and income tax and resources available to share amongst our community.
The Audit and Investigations Service investigates all types of fraud and corruption allegations affecting the council (including Brent schools). Whether you suspect our staff, partners, contractors or citizens, please do not hesitate to report fraud.
Some examples of fraud types investigated by the service include:
- Social Housing fraud – unlawful subletting, false housing applications and false tenancy succession applications
- Council Tax fraud – falsely claiming to be single and receiving 25% discount on your council tax, providing false information to claim council tax support
- Business Rates fraud – companies falsely claiming empty property or charitable relief
- Insurance fraud – people who make false or exaggerated insurance claims against the council for tripping on pavements
- Direct Payments fraud – people who falsely claim to be disabled to obtain care funds, dishonestly using funds for non-care purposes
- Blue Badge fraud – persistently and dishonestly displaying a blue badge without the genuine holder being present, displaying a badge that has been reported lost or stolen or where the badge holder is deceased, displaying a badge that is counterfeit or forged/altered.
Housing Benefit fraud is no longer investigated by the council as this has been taken over by the Fraud and Compliance Directorate at the Department for Work and Pensions. Fraud can be reported to them via the National Benefit Fraud Hotline 0800 854 440 or via the Benefit Theft website.
Council officers are not permitted to accept bribes and bribing a council officer is a serious criminal offence. If you know of anyone at the council who has accepted a bribe or who has asked for money to make a particular decision, please tell us about it.
For further information please see our Anti-Fraud and Bribery Policy 2022.
Also for information, please see the council’s Enforcement Policy and accompanying set of Service Standards with regards to regulatory activities.
Local anti-fraud initiatives
The personal information we have collected from you will be shared with fraud prevention agencies who will use it to prevent fraud and money-laundering and to verify your identity. If fraud is detected, you could be refused certain services, finance, or employment.
National Fraud Initiative
The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is an exercise which is administered by the Cabinet Office that matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud.