CROYDON SELECTED TO PILOT ANTI-FRAUD PARTNERSHIP
Croydon has been selected to join forces with four other London boroughs in a major crackdown on criminals defrauding councils out of millions of pounds.
The council’s experience and success in this field has seen it teamed up with Camden, Ealing, Islington, and Southwark to pilot the London Counter Fraud Hub.
This partnership will eventually extend to all boroughs in the capital to better target those responsible for unpaid council tax, illegal property letting and unpaid business rates.
The hub, which is run with data analytics provided by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), has the potential to save London taxpayers an estimated £60 million a year.
The most recent figures suggest councils are defrauded of £2.1 billion each year nationwide, including £133 million in council tax discount fraud. Last year, London councils detected fraud to the value of nearly £100 million, with housing frauds accounting for £74.5m of the total.
The initiative will help both prevent and uncover fraud within boroughs and across boundaries between boroughs, with perpetrators facing sanctions ranging from payment orders to lengthy prison sentences.
Cllr Simon Hall, Croydon’s cabinet member for finance and treasury, said: “I’m very pleased Croydon is at the vanguard of this new crackdown on fraudsters. “It’s absolutely wrong that the majority of council tax payers should have to subsidise this sort of illegal behaviour.
“Croydon already has a great record in tracking down on fraud, however, by working together with other boroughs to share data we can do so much more.” (Source: Croydon council press release)