Council counter-fraud officers will once again be taking part in a week of action during International Fraud Awareness Week (12-18 November).
logo of a hand showing fraud week branding
Throughout the week, officers from the council’s Corporate Anti-Fraud Team (CAFT), and other council officers, will be carrying out a range of activities to raise awareness around the impact of fraud and other crime, what to look out for, and how to report it.
It is estimated that the cost of fraud nationally to local authorities is around £2.1billion every year.
Barnet’s dedicated counter-fraud team, CAFT, work to protect the public purse and detect, disrupt and investigate those intent on committing fraud.
The team investigates a range of fraud, from people making false applications for council support, to illegally subletting their council homes, attempts to commit right to buy fraud, and drivers committing fraud by misusing blue badge disabled parking permits.
During the last financial year, the council’s counter-fraud team completed more than 270 blue badge fraud investigations, carried out 36 prosecutions and confiscated 56 badges that that were being misused.
Over the same period the team completed 61 tenancy fraud investigations which resulted in council properties being recovered and being re-let for those in need.
During Fraud Awareness Week, officers will have an information stand at Middlesex University on 12 November 10am-4pm, and then will be at the Broadwalk Shopping Centre in Edgware on 13 November between 10am-4pm. They will also be at the Spires Shopping Centre, High Barnet between 10am-4pm on 15 November. Officers will be raising awareness of fraud and crime prevention, and will be on hand to explain the role of CAFT.
Council Leader, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: “Our Corporate Anti-Fraud Team works extremely hard each year to protect the public purse from those who try to cheat the system.
“International Fraud Awareness Week is a good opportunity for the council to raise awareness of the impact of fraud and what we can do to tackle it.
“If anyone suspects a fraud is being committed I would urge them to report it straight away.”
To report a fraud, visit www.barnet.gov.uk/anti-fraud or call our fraud hotline on 020 8359 2007.