Know a cheat in your street?
We are committed to preventing, detecting and investigating non-benefit fraud in Newcastle-under-Lyme, which includes housing tenancy, Council Tax support, blue badge, social care, procurement, insurance and internal fraud.
We have a zero tolerance approach towards fraud and corruption and this commitment is set out in the Council's Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption strategy.
We encourage everyone to feel confident in raising any serious concerns they have about suspected illegal or illegitimate practices within the Council, or any other concerns they have over any aspect of the Council's operations or its conduct.
What is non-benefit fraud?
The vast majority of people who receive support are genuine and entitled to claim. However, some people deliberately fail to report a change in their circumstances or lie in order to obtain housing and claim Council Tax support. The fraudster can be a claimant acting alone or with the help of a third party, for example a landlord or employer or partner.
What types of fraud are there?
Instances where people:
- claim benefit as a single person but actually live with a partner
- have other people living in their property and don't tell us
- claim for an address but don't actually live there
- pretend to rent a property which they actually own
- continue to claim on a property after they have moved
- don't have the right given their true circumstances to claim Council Tax support
- illegally use a disabled blue badge.
You may also be aware of potential fraudulent activity that is taking place within the Borough. We are committed to the highest possible standards of openness, honesty and accountability and we will not tolerate malpractice or wrongdoing. As such we actively encourage you to report any concerns.
Our Whistleblowing policy provides the protection for individuals who make such disclosures and explains how these will be investigated.
It helps with any investigation if you provide contact details in order that we may clarify information and, where necessary, ask you to provide evidence to support the investigation. Any concerns raised anonymously will be considered depending on the credibility of the information provided.
All concerns will be looked at but not all will warrant a full investigation; it may be that some matters can be resolved informally. All concerns raised will be handled sensitively and in confidence, and without the fear of victimisation, discrimination or harassment.
Whilst we encourage the reporting of allegations made in good faith, we will take action against anyone deliberately making false or malicious allegations which damage our reputation or that of our employees.
You will receive information, subject to legal constraints, on the outcome of any investigation but will not receive a copy of the investigation report.
How to raise a concern
In order to report your concerns:
- phone our whistleblowing hotline 01782 742299
- e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
You can report a concern about Housing Benefit directly with the Department of Work and Pensions via their website or phone via the Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.