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Stoke.gov.uk Developing Partnerships to Tackle Tenancy Fraud Paul Bicknell Corporate Fraud Manager.

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Presentation on theme: "Stoke.gov.uk Developing Partnerships to Tackle Tenancy Fraud Paul Bicknell Corporate Fraud Manager."— Presentation transcript:

1 stoke.gov.uk Developing Partnerships to Tackle Tenancy Fraud Paul Bicknell Corporate Fraud Manager

2 A Different Approach? Involve Housing Officers on a ‘joint- working’ basis from the outset Recover the property AND Sanction the offender

3 The Challenges Tenancy Fraud doesn’t exist Housing Officers lack of powers Staff are too busy Legal Teams wary of Fraud Act 2006/POSH Fraud Act 2013 No understanding/experience

4 The Solution Awareness training Specific investigative resource ‘Put it about’ a bit Partnership approach involving stakeholders from the outset 3 Stage investigation process Publicity

5 Investigation Process – Stage 1 Investigator Utility usage Bin crew Gas inspection Social media LEA – schools Housing Officer Housing file Discrete neighbour enquiries Monitor property

6 Investigation Process – Stage 2 Surveillance Financial info Witness statements Benefits in payment? Fraud Act offences Issue IUC letter and/or notice to quit

7 Investigation Process – Stage 3 IUC conducted by the Investigator and the Housing Officer No response – Recover property

8 Post IUC Benefit overpayment Repossession hearing Sanction action

9 Desired Outcomes Referrals fully investigated Benefits corrected Property recovered & re-let Offender sanctioned

10 RSL Partnerships 7 HA’s on board Same approach Prepared to pay 4 Agreed to data-matching exercise funded by DCLG

11 Data Matching Exercise Commenced May 2013 Credit Reference Agency DPA Agreements signed New matching in May 2014

12 Initial Exercise Results 664 Matches received 161 Disregarded immediately 503 System Checked – data cleansed 92 Warranted investigation

13 Exercise Results (cont) 18 On-going investigations 23 Properties recovered 2 Prosecutions, 2 AdPens, 2 Cautions

14 TF Results since April Ongoing investigations 11 Prosecutions, 5 AdPens, 4 Cautions 203 Properties recovered (54, 64, 75, 10) £800k benefit overpayments Highest reported fraud type

15 Things You Need To Know! People still don’t believe HTF is an issue Most cases in receipt of HB/CTB Mags/judges need awareness training Results are tangible Almost certainly a bigger problem than you think

16 Quote “Facts do not cease to exist merely because they are ignored” Aldous Huxley “Tenancy Fraud does not cease to exist merely because we choose to ignore it” Paul Bicknell

17 Contact Details Tel:


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