§ Mr. Andrew Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many fraud officers were employed in his Department (a) in May 1980 and (b) in the most recent month for which figures are available.
§ Mr. Portillo
Precise figures are not available but it is possible to calculate the amount of staff time employed on fraud work in the Department. In May 1980 the equivalent of 2,350 full-time staff were employed on fraud-related work, mainly in local offices, and in September 1987 the figure had risen to 2,920. The latter figure includes 500 additional staff for the extra effort against benefit fraud introduced in 1986.