New fraud squad collar close to half a million in Thurrock

THURROCK councillors heard on Wednesday (28 September) how officers are ensuring crime does not pay through an extension of anti-fraud services across Essex. In a report presented to a full council, details of how Thurrock Council is sharing its successful approach with neighbours were outlined.Hosted by Thurrock Council, The Essex Counter-Fraud Partnership brings together other councils, Essex Police, the Home Office, Housing Associations and other public bodies to form a unified front against fraud.The first of its kind in the country, Operation Domus developed by Thurrock Council’s counter fraud and investigation service uses advanced technical resources in a targeted approach against fraudsters.This action not only recovers money owed to councils and other public bodies, but disrupts wider criminality and protects vulnerable communities from falling foul of crooks.The collaborative approach is already reaping benefits, generating £478,000 in revenue for the Council 60 per cent of the running costs of the service.Speaking after presenting his report, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Cllr Shane Hebb, said: “Crime does not respect council borders and nor should we when we fight it. Let me be clear, anybody who seeks to obtain financial advantage by illicit or illegal means should feel the full force of the law.”The team in counter fraud and investigations are providing a truly exemplary service. They are on the side of those who go to work in the dark, get home in the dark, pay what they owe and expect others to do the same.”Make no mistake the priority of this team is recovering owed money and ploughing it back into important services.

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