Campaign to crackdown on fraudsters ‘successful’ in recovering taxpayers’ cash

County Hall, Hertford PNL-140608-145952001

County Hall, Hertford PNL-140608-145952001

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A crackdown on fraudsters who cost Hertfordshire’s taxpayers around £12million a year is a ‘significant success’, according to county hall.

Following the launch of the ‘Spot the Cheater’ campaign, residents have reported empty council houses, people subletting their council houses while secretly living elsewhere, and the misuse of blue badges for disabled parking.

The Shared Anti-Fraud Service – which is made up of Broxbourne Borough Council, East Herts Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, North Herts District Council, Stevenage Borough Council and the county council – is now busy investigating the reports.

Successful prosecutions will mean the money goes back to the public purse to improve the community and support vulnerable and elderly people in Hertfordshire.

Chris Hayward, cabinet member for resources and performance at Herts County Council, said: “This is an encouraging result.

“It’s not fair that you pay your taxes, while other people get away without paying them.

“All council services are funded by taxpayers, so when people commit council tax, tenancy or blue badge fraud, they are stealing from their whole community.”

He added: “We are always looking for ways to get the best value for money and this innovative new partnership working is already cutting fraud and saving money from Hertfordshire’s public purse.

If you know a cheat on your street, report them.”

Report suspected fraud in the strictest confidence at www.hertsdirect.org/reportfraud, or phone 0300 123 4033.

Join the conversation on Twitter by following #SpotTheCheater