PLANS to tackle criminals defrauding London’s councils have taken a major step forward with the appointment of CIPFA to provide data analytics for the London Counter Fraud Hub.
The London Counter Fraud Hub is a partnership between all the London boroughs to better target fraudsters who attempt to con councils out of millions of pounds a year in unpaid council tax, illegal property letting and unpaid business rates. The hub has potential to save London tax payers £60m a year on average.
Edward Lord, OBE, chair of London Councils’ Capital Ambition Board, said: “The London Counter Fraud Hub will now give the London boroughs access to the most sophisticated data analytics to identify potential fraudsters and ensure that money lost to scams ends up in its rightful place – funding vital public services.
Rob Whiteman, chief executive of CIPFA, said: “The London Counter Fraud Hub is one of the most advanced counter fraud programmes in the public sector. We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract in a ground breaking area of fraud prevention and looking forward to playing our part in protecting the public purse.”
The most recent estimates suggest that councils are defrauded of £2.1bn each year nationwide, including £133m in council tax discount fraud. Last year, London councils detected fraud to the value of £102m 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.
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