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Theft, Fraud & Corruption

The Council has a duty to protect public funds and we are committed to the fight against theft, fraud and corruption and will not tolerate theft, fraud or corruption in the administration of its responsibilities, whether from inside or outside the Council. We will deal openly with members, employees, contractors, service providers or the public who act dishonestly.

Types of Fraud


Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS)

The Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement)(England) Regulations 2013 state it is an offence to make a false statement to the Council or to fail to notify a change in circumstances in order to get a reduction that you would not otherwise be entitled to.

Below are some examples of fraud.

  • Undeclared partner

    This can either be not telling us about a partner when they first make a claim, or not letting us know when a partner moves in during the claim.

  • Undeclared income

    Not telling us about money they have coming into the household, whether at the start of the claim or during the claim. This could be from a pension, other benefits or rent from a lodger. These are only examples and this is not a complete list.

  • Undeclared earnings

    Not telling us about any employment, or a partner's employment at the start or during a claim. This could also include failing to tell us about an increase in earnings or a second job.

  • Undeclared capital

    Capital is money in accounts, savings, property or investments held by you or a partner. Again, these are only examples and this is not a complete list.

  • Other types of benefit fraud include claiming at an address you do not live in, not declaring another occupant who is not your partner or falsifying rent documents.


Regulation 11 of The Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement)(England) Regulations 2013 enables the Council to invite a person to agree to pay a penalty as an alternative to prosecution for an offence.  The amount of the penalty is 50% of the amount of any excess reduction, up to a maximum of £1,000. Regulations 12 and 13 also enables the Council to impose a penalty of £70.00 where a person negligently gives an incorrect statement or information, or where a person fails to provide a prompt notification of a relevant circumstances.  Where there is sufficient information to justify a prosecution, legal proceedings will commence.  A person prosecuted by the Council would normally be summonsed to appear before a magistrate court.


Council Tax Fraud

Council tax fraud is when a person deliberately gives incorrect or misleading information in order to pay less or no council tax.

Council tax fraud can start when a claim is made if you provide false or fail to tell us about a change in your circumstances. It is a criminal offence for you to make a false statement in order to get a discount or exemption that you would not otherwise be entitled to.  All households are required to pay Council Tax, and there are a number of discounts and exemptions available to support residents, for example Single Person Discount, with recipients able to claim a 25% discount on their bill. Below are some examples of Council Tax Fraud:

  • Single Person Discount - Falsely claiming you are the only adult occupier

  • Exempt Properties - Falsely stating that your property falls under the exempt property rules

  • Person Exemption - Falsely stating you have an exempt person in your property.

Schedule 3 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 enables the Council to impose a penalty of £70.00 if a person fails to supply information or knowingly supplies information which is inaccurate in relation to their Council Tax account.


Business Rates Fraud

Non-domestic rate, or business rate, fraud is when a business avoids paying the correct fees for local services.

  • A business might avoid paying the costs by not declaring that a business is located at a certain premises

  • Unoccupied Exemptions - Falsely stating a property is occupied or unoccupied.

  • Falsely claiming discretionary or mandatory reliefs.



Tenancy Fraud, Waiting List Fraud or Right to Buy Fraud

Housing fraud stops council housing going to the people who really need it. We will take legal action to evict illegal tenants and recover an unlawfully occupied property.

Types of Housing Fraud could be:

  • Submitting misleading information to obtain a property

  • Staying in a property after the tenant has moved out

  • Staying in a property after the tenant has died (unless you have a right of succession to take over the tenancy)

  • Staying in property when a joint tenancy is ended by one of the tenants

  • When property is no longer the tenant's main home

  • When the entire home is unlawfully sublet

  • When an unapproved mutual exchange of property has been made

  • When a tenant has unlawfully passed their tenancy on to someone else (Key Selling)

  • When someone moves into an empty council property without permission (squatting)

  • Applicant not lived in property for qualifying period

  • False mortgage applications / hides debt or bankruptcy

  • Undeclared Capital


Internal Fraud

Fraud, irregularity allegations or corrupt activity, may include:

  • Employee fraud  - theft, embezzlement, bribery

  • Procurement and Contract fraud - influencing the tender process, false/duplicate invoicing

  • Criminal misconduct by a council employee or a contractor

  • Claiming travel and subsistence for journeys that were not made

  • Processing false claims from accomplices

  • Conducting personal work while being paid by the council


If you know or suspect that someone is committing fraud you can report it anonymously via any of the methods below:

Phone Hotline:- 0800 0851 637

Via e-mail:-

Updated: 27 Mar 2019
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