Q: What is the East Sussex Counter Fraud Hub?
A: The Hub is a group of specialist staff and managers from seven local authorities in and around East Sussex that has come together to share information, knowledge and new working practices to counter the threat of fraud against the services that they provide.
Q: I do not recall local authorities placing this emphasis on counter fraud work before - why is there this apparent focus now?
A: The UK government has been encouraging local authorities to develop new and innovative methods of working to tackle fraud. The set-up of the Hub in 2014 is part of the local response to this important issue.
Q: Do all the Hub partners do the same work?
A: No. The individual Hub partners each have their own priorities depending on the services that they provide to their communities. For example, some Hub partners provide social housing, and so one of their priorities is to tackle abuses of social housing such as sub-letting and abandonment. Other Hub partners may tackle issues such as Blue Badge fraud to limit the harm that is caused by the misuse of facilities put in place to help disabled people.
Q: The Hub does not appear to cover Housing Benefit fraud – why is that, given that Housing benefit must represent the biggest expense for local authorities?
A: The UK government has set up a national organisation within the Department of Work and Pensions to tackle Housing Benefit fraud. Hub partners work closely with colleagues in this organisation because it is often the case that people who fraudulently claim Housing Benefit also try to obtain other benefits and services to which they are not entitled.
Q: What is Fraud?
A: A person is guilty of fraud if they make a false representation or fails to disclose information which he legally has a duty to disclose information to another, or occupies a position in which he is expected to safeguard or not to act against, the financial position of another, he dishonestly - Intends to make a gain for himself or another, or - Intends to cause loss to another or expose another to a risk of loss.
Q: How do I report a suspected Fraud?
A: There are several ways to report a fraud. - You can use this sight by simply clicking on to the link “Report Fraud” that will take you to the East Sussex map, simply click on the area where the fraud is being committed and follow the instructions. - You can call the East Sussex Fraud Hub number 0800 731 7039 and leave a message. - You can email details to info@focusonfraud.co.uk - Contact your Local Authority and as for the Counter Fraud Team - For all state benefits you should call National Benefit Fraud Hotline ( NBFH ) Telephone: 0800 854 440.

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