Council tax prosecutions rise

SUCCESSFUL prosecutions for housing and council tax fraud went up by a third this year.

Rotherham Borough Council’s team secured 37 court convictions, compared to 29 for 2012/13.

The total number of investigations into suspicious cases fell from 1,342 to 1,060 and fines and formal cautions were also down.

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Fifteen benefit fraud cases exceeded £10,000. One woman had fraudulently claimed more than £28,000 in benefits over several years.

A council spokesman said: “The majority of people claiming benefits are honest and declare their correct circumstances when claiming.

“Unfortunately, there are some who deliberately set out to defraud the system. It is the job of our team to prevent, detect and deter benefit fraud.

“The team receives referrals of possible fraud cases from many sources, including public, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Housing Benefit Matching Service.”

There were 13 successful prosecutions for misuse of blue badge permits.

Any suspicions about benefit fraud can be reported to the Fraud Hotline on 0800 028 2080.