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23 Nov 2016

CCTV helps Sandwell prove sub-letting

Fraudsters who were sub-letting Sandwell Council houses have been caught out - saving the authority up to £400,000.

Officers in the council’s CCTV control room together with its counter fraud team have recently recovered four properties which were being fraudulently sub-let.

Each council property recovered from fraudsters is an estimated saving to the local authority of £93,000.

Councillor Steve Eling, Sandwell Council leader, said:
We have had four cases recently where the CCTV images provided by our control room have been invaluable in helping to prove the fraud. Sub-letting our properties is not only illegal but it also prevents families from being housed legitimately.
The joint effort between Sandwell’s CCTV control room and the counter fraud team has seen properties go back into legitimate use - offering up significant savings to the council.

In three instances, CCTV footage showed properties being used by people other than the tenant and in the fourth, images showed a tenant living at a different property resulting in benefit fraud over-payments.

Savings for the council are determined following a report called Protecting the Public Purse 2015.

The Cabinet Office looked into the costs to local authorities including people on waiting lists, in temporary accommodation, fraudulent benefits claims, legal costs to evict people and it was estimated the overall saving for each property recovered was on average £93,000.

All four of the recent tenancies were ended and the individuals involved are unlikely to be housed by the council again.

Source

No word or prosecutions or compensation orders?

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