Letter: Fighting fraud

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Sir: The facts about the London Organised Fraud Investigation Team pilot are: three successful prosecutions, no unsuccessful prosecutions, another 20 people arrested, 16 bailed to appear. Housing benefit overpayments worth pounds 274,840 identified for recovery, benefit stopped in 25 cases saving pounds 130,000 ("Benefit fraud unit only able to make one prosecution in two years", 14 August).

Thirty-six organised fraud investigations are in progress and six in preparation. They involve benefit overpayments of pounds 1,360,000 - recovery cannot start before prosecution. Critical information supplied by the team to other agencies in frauds totalling over pounds 33m of tax and other fraud to the public purse. Cost to date: less than pounds 2m. The Audit Commission recommended that the pilot be extended for up to two years.


Association of London Government

London SW1