§ Mr. Sillars
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate she makes of the number of giros stolen each month after issue to recipients of benefit; and what was the cost of State funds in the latest available full year from making good the cash loss involved for individuals.
§ Mr. Alec Jones
Separate figures are not available of the numbers of girocheques stolen after issue to beneficiaries but the monthly average of girocheques found to have been fraudulently encashed in the first six months of 1974 after replacements had been issued was 6,640. The figures include fraudulent encashments by claimants as well as girocheques which were stolen.
It is estimated that in 1973 the cost of replacing girocheques which were subsequently found to have been cashed was about £820,000. Recovery action and prosecution was undertaken were appropriate, but separate records are not maintained of the amounts recovered.