Campaign to crack down on fraud in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 16:09 03 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:09 03 October 2016
Residents are being urged to report suspected cases of fraud, which cost Hertfordshire's tax payers an estimated £7.8 million each year.
The ‘Spot the Cheater’ campaign, which is now in its second year, urges residents to come forward to report empty council houses, people subletting their council houses while secretly living elsewhere, and people using Blue Badges for disabled parking that do not belong to them.
Six Hertfordshire councils, including Hertsmere Borough Council and the county council, have formed the Shared Anti-Fraud Service in order to investigate any reports.
Successful prosecutions will result in returning money to the public purse to improve the community and valuable services required in Hertfordshire.
Chris Hayward, cabinet member for resources and performance at the county council, said: “This is an extremely important campaign and last year generated a significant increase in reports.
“I’d call on residents to continue to do the right thing if they know a cheat on their street. It’s not fair that you pay your taxes, while other people get away without paying them.
“All council services are funded by taxpayers, so when people commit council tax, tenancy or Blue Badge fraud, they are stealing from their whole community.
“We are always looking for ways to get the best value for money and this innovative new partnership working is already cutting fraud and saving money from Hertfordshire’s public purse.”
To report suspected fraud confidentially go to www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/spotfraud or call 0300 123 4033.