Council representatives from across the East Sussex region have joined forces to officially launch the East Sussex Counter Fraud Hub with a new hotline number, logo and strapline.
The East Sussex Counter Fraud Hub aims to tackle fraud throughout the rural, urban and metropolitan areas of the county, and sees councils in the region come together to share intelligence and reduce fraudulent activity, such as council tax fraud, procurement fraud, housing tenancy and right to buy fraud, blue badge and business rate fraud.
Alongside award winning anti-fraud teams in East Sussex, the East Sussex Counter Fraud Hub has been able to develop a coherent partnership since its formation in 2015. Supported by funding available from the Department of Communities and Local Government, councils throughout East Sussex have combined resources to create innovative and stronger fraud referral systems across the region. This initiative is part of a nationwide funding programme, which has seen over 55 other councils throughout the UK also set up partnerships and groups during the same period to fight fraud in their local areas.
Representatives from Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Wealden District Council, Brighton and Hove City Council, Hastings Borough Council, Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council also took the opportunity to reflect on the last year of progress, which has seen the partnership successfully exceed forecast total financial savings of £1,290,000 by over 25%.
In addition to offering interviews and Q&A with media representatives, the hub members ensured they had a visible presence in the local community, offering information about its services. Some of the fraudulent activity already uncovered by the hub includes cases relating to social housing tenancy and blue badge claims, something that the hub is continuing to tackle.