The Telegraph and Daily Mail both report today on the number of benefit fraud cases that fail to result in prosecutions, following a parliamentary question from the Conservative MP Richard Fuller.
The stories include some important context for the figures and anyone looking to report on them, including new guidelines, which according to The Telegraph:
“[Mean] suspects can be charged under the Fraud Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and the abolition of the financial threshold which prevented benefit fraud cases of less than £20,000 from being sent to crown court.”
The data behind the stories does not cover sentencing under the new guidelines – but future years will. Continue reading Get the data: prosecution and benefit fraud
The Sun’s announcement that it is targeting benefit cheats has led to at least one very nasty experience for a 68-year-old former dustman.
Elaine Milton writes movingly about her father’s injury, countless operations, and recent discovery of bowls, “with the support of his doctor”. Then:
“You can imagine how I felt when I heard that a Sun journalist and photographer had been knocking on his door, taking his picture, telling him that they were doing a story on benefit cheats. Continue reading The real life impact of being targeted by a Sun journalist as a ‘benefit cheat’
NCCLOLS reports on the need for more rigorous reporting in the Nottingham Post following a story on an increase in benefit fraud prosecutions, with plenty of useful links to data that the newspaper could have used: Continue reading Data and link: Questions to ask about benefit fraud in Nottingham