Benefits paid to prisoners have declined by 96 per cent since 2007 – but almost £21m is still missing because only half the money has been recovered to the Department for Work and Pensions, an investigation by Help Me Investigate has revealed.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) centralised its benefits database in April 2012, prompting the decline in overpayments to prisoners: data provided in response to Freedom of Information requests shows that in 2007 the DWP paid prisoners £8.8m in benefits, but this figure dropped to £320,000 in 2013. Continue reading Prisoner benefit overpayments plummet – but DWP still missing £21m
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