Benefit Fraud

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th February 2004.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

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.

Photo of Mr Chris Pond Mr Chris Pond Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

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.

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