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Scarborough Council Pilots New Software to Combat Fraud Across Borough



New software purchased by Scarborough Borough Council is being used to develop a data hub to combat fraud across the borough.

Following a successful funding bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government, the council was awarded £169,500 to fund the ‘Fraud Hub’ for a two year pilot.

The hub aims to reduce a number of different types of fraud, including council tax, NNDR (business rates), tenancy, right to buy, employment and procurement.

To support a culture of shared data analysis, the council, together with Yorkshire Coast Homes, other housing partners, North Yorkshire Police, Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group and the Safer Communities team, will each upload the data they hold to the Fraud Hub. This information can then be cross checked to give an improved picture of areas and individuals.

Tackling tenancy fraud is a key target for the council and housing providers and it is hoped that the hub will increase the ability to recover social housing stock more quickly from those who have claimed it dishonestly so it can be re-let to people in real need.

Alison Johnson, Scarborough Borough Council Audit Manager said:
"We want the hub to provide a visible, innovative and joined-up response to reassure the public that fraudulent activity is being addressed and that organisations are working more efficiently to eliminate duplication, but more importantly fill in the gaps in information that can sometimes hinder their operational effectiveness."
As well as making it easier for organisations to detect fraud, the hub will also help to combat other types of crime and address financial vulnerability.

Rachel Hartley, Scarborough Borough Council Counter Fraud Team Leader said:
"We already have close links with North Yorkshire Police with a successful record of working together to address crime, threat and potential harm. The police have recently commissioned a very positive report on the effectiveness of shared intelligence. There are close connections between tenancy fraud and other forms of crime, anti-social behaviour and vulnerability and the hub will allow us to build on the joint working we already do, to address the fears and concerns in these areas."
The software behind the Fraud Hub has been developed by local authority fraud professionals, so the council is confident in its capabilities and what results it will be able to deliver.

The council’s ambition beyond the two year pilot is for the Fraud Hub to expand to include other public and private sector organisations. As well as helping to fund the hub in the future, it will give those organisations involved a real opportunity to tackle, head on, fraudulent activity and help to improve the community as a whole.

The council encourages anyone who suspects cases of council tax, business rates, tenancy or right to buy fraud to report it to the Fraud Hotline on 0800 056 8154.

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Scarborough Council Pilots New Software to Combat Fraud Across Borough Reviewed by Editor on 20:35:00 Rating: 5

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