There were well over 1,500 cases of benefits fraud in Wolverhampton, in which cheats stole more than £1 million from the public purse, over the last financial year.
A report to the city council’s audit committee reveals there were 1,726 individual cases of fraud – a figure that far eclipses the yearly average for other councils in the country.
The average number of benefits fraud cases nationally is estimated to be 539, with a financial value of £853,072.
In Wolverhampton a total of £1,164,525 was taken in 2013/14.
Council bosses say the high figure illustrates the authority’s commitment to clamping down on benefits cheats.
By far the most common type of deception in the city was council tax discount fraud, with 1,507 cases creating a loss of £459,365.
Housing benefit and council tax benefit fraud was uncovered 177 times and accounted for £586,180 of the total.
Other types of fraud committed over the last year included ‘right to buy fraud’, of which three cases were identified, and procurement, of which one instance was found.
Despite Wolverhampton council experiencing such a high incidence of benefits fraud, there was some good news.
There were no cases of insurance or social care fraud found, despite them costing other local authorities a combined total of £1,738,962 last year.
Other councils also lost a total of £662,369 through internal fraud cases, while Wolverhampton council lost just £36,897.
There were also no cases of disabled parking fraud in Wolverhampton, compared to an average of 28 cases across other district councils.
Of course these figures only cover fraud that was detected.