§ Mr. McCrindle
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has yet begun any of the special drives against abuse of social security benefits which he announced on the publication of the Fisher Report; and with what results.
§ Mr. Dean
Some pilot drives for the intensive investigation of cases where there was a suspicion that people were drawing benefit while in work have recently been carried out in the following areas: West Bromwich, Leeds, Teesside, Leicester, Manchester, Wallasey, Birkenhead, Bristol, Cwmbran, Greenock and Cowdenbeath. The preliminary results show that of 1,401 suspicious cases investigated, fraud was established in about one-quarter. There are in addition about 130 cases still under investigation.
I am satisfied that the drives also had a deterrent effect in these areas. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I are assessing the results to see what lessons can be learned for the future.