HC Deb 12 February 2004 vol 417 cc1587-8W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases of benefit fraud were detected in each of the last six years; and how many of these have resulted in(a) prosecutions and (b) convictions. [151015]

Mr. Pond

The number of cases of benefit fraud detected is not available. The number of cases resulting in prosecution, and cases resulting in conviction, are in the table:

Prosecutions Convictions
DSS/DWP Local authorities DSS/DWP Local authorities
1997–98 11,523 n/a 11,386 700
1998–99 10,129 n/a 9,967 800
1999–2000 9,272 n/a 9,129 900
2000–01 11,584 n/a 11,403 1,100
2001–02 11,355 2,101 11,183 1,732
2002–03 9,396 3,187 9,267 2,503


1. For local authorities, figures prior to 2001–02 have been rounded to the nearest 100 because they include estimated values for non-responding local authorities.

2. Figures for local authority prosecutions which did not lead to conviction are not available prior to 2001–02.


1. DSS/DWP: Fraud Information By Sector

2. Local authorities: From 2001–02 onwards the numbers are taken from subsidy claim forms. Prior to this the numbers are taken from management information returns.

Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate, for each local authority, the total amount saved in benefit expenditure arising from anti-fraud initiatives in the most recent year for which figures are available; if he will express the figures as a percentage of the total expenditure on social security benefits administered by each local authority; and if he will provide an aggregate estimate for Great Britain. [152845]

Mr. Pond

Estimates of savings in benefit expenditure by local authorities due to anti-fraud initiatives are not available at local authority or national level. It is not possible to readily estimate savings from the data the Department collects on detected overpayments. This is largely because it is not possible to know how long the overpayments would have continued for had they not been detected at that point in time.

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