SOUTHWARK BOROUGH COUNCIL
Other Types of Fraud and Corruption
At last a Council that takes fraud by its officers seriously enough to run a fraud hotline. On behalf of action groups around the country, we should like to tender our congratulations to the Members and Executive Officers of the London Borough of Southwark for this brave and necessary step to tackle planning crime - WELL DONE.
The following is an extract from Southwark's "Other Types of Fraud" page:-
The council awards several different grants to individuals and organisations in the borough. These range from house renovation grants to voluntary organisations providing services to the community. Grant fraud usually involves either making false claims in order to obtain a grant or providing false accounts of how the money is spent.
We receive many bogus insurance claims, particularly related to trips and falls on the pavement. This is a serious problem, which drains resources away from repairing and improving the highways themselves.
The council has an obligation to provide care to unaccompanied asylum seekers under the age of 18 and to children of asylum seekers, and to provide assistance to asylum seekers with no other means of support. This is another area where we can fall prey to fraudsters using false identities or lying about their circumstances, for example, income, accommodation, or age.
The council has designated many neighbourhoods as controlled parking zones, many requiring a parking permit which is only available to residents. Parking in certain areas of the borough is at a premium, which causes some motorists to use fake permits, other residents' permits, or may fraudulently use a resident's address to obtain a permit from us. This kind of fraud reduces the availability of parking for residents and reduces the revenue to the council.
Corruption can occur in many areas of the council's business from an officer or member using their position to secure a job or a council house for a friend or family member to a contractor providing cash, goods, or services in kind to a council member or officer in return for the award of a contract. Corruption prevents the council from obtaining value for money and erodes confidence in the organisation. The council has codes of conduct for council members and officers, as well as controls to prevent corruption. However, these can never be foolproof and we need the public to blow the whistle on any corrupt acts relating to the council. If you know or suspect any council member, officer or contractor accepting or soliciting bribes, favours or other rewards for acting in their official capacity, please call our fraud hotline (0800 052 1010), e-mail the fraud team or use an online fraud report form.
Useful External Links
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Wealden District Council insure with Zurich Municipal and still have no Whistle-blowing policy in place - coincidence or not?