Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Over 85% of Tip-offs for Benefit Fraud are False as Public Encouraged to Inform on Neighbours and ‘Suspicious’ people.

with 33 comments

Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘Big Society’. 

More than 85% of public tips on benefit ‘frauds’ are false, reports the Observer today (Thanks: Enigma).

Figures obtained by the Observer show that in the 1m alleged cases of benefit fraud put forward by the public, about 890,000 showed no fraud had taken place.

More than 85% of fraud allegations made by the public over the last five years were false, according to figures obtained by the Observer.

A freedom of information request to the Department for Work and Pensions discloses that between 2010 and 2015 the government closed 1,041,219 alleged cases of benefit fraud put forward by the public. Insufficient or no evidence of fraud was discovered in 887,468 of these. In 2015 alone, of the 153,038 cases closed by the DWP’s Fraud and Error Service, 132,772 led to no action.

People can use an online form on the DWP website to anonymously report suspects, listing their eye colour, piercings, scars, tattoos and other details they deem relevant. Suspicions can also be logged through the DWP benefit fraud hotline.

Information received by the Observer states that more than 1.6 million cases of benefit fraud were opened between 2010 and 2015 after reports logged by the public. Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “The alarming number of incorrect reports shows the system has failed, it should be the DWP which investigates benefit fraud, not your closest neighbours. This McCarthy-style reporting of benefit fraud is another example of the government’s desire to turn people against the welfare state and to treat sick and disabled people as second-class citizens.”

Owen Smith, shadow work and pensions secretary, spoke of “the poisonous way the Tories have continually talked down our social security system”. He said: “Where there are abuses of the system they should be dealt with swiftly. However, the government’s constant attempts to paint honest people – like low-paid workers relying on tax credits and universal credit – as ‘skivers’ is creating a hostile and accusatory environment. The Tories should view these results with shame and pledge to turn the page on their divisive rhetoric.”

The history of informing bears mentioning.

Rome: the Delator (Informer).

In Roman history, properly one who gave notice (deferre) to the treasury officials of monies that had become due to the imperial fisc. This special meaning was extended to those who lodged information as to punishable offences, and further, to those who brought a public accusation (whether true or not) against any person (especially with the object of getting money). Although the word delator itself, for “common informer,” is confined to imperial times, the right of public accusation had long existed. When exercised from patriotic and disinterested motives, its effects were beneficial; but the moment the principle of reward was introduced, this was no longer the case. Sometimes the accuser was rewarded with the rights of citizenship, a place in the senate, or a share of the property of the accused. At the end of the republican period, Cicero (De Officiis, ii. 14) expresses his opinion that such accusations should be undertaken only in the interests of the state or for other urgent reasons.

Under the Roman Empire the system became openly corrupt, which reached its height during the reign of Tiberius, although the delators continued to exercise their activity till the reign of Theodosius I. They were drawn from all classes of society—patricians, knights, freedmen, slaves, philosophers, literary men, and, above all, lawyers. The objects of their attacks were the wealthy, all possible rivals of the emperor, and those whose conduct implied a reproach against the imperial mode of life. Special opportunities were afforded by the law of majestas, which originally directed against attacks on the ruler by word or deed came to include all kinds of accusations with which it really had nothing to do; indeed, according to Tacitus, a charge of treason was regularly added to all criminal charges. The chief motive for these accusations was no doubt the desire of amassing wealth,[1] since by the law of majestas one-fourth of the goods of the accused, even if he committed suicide in order to avoid confiscation (which was always carried out in the case of those condemned to capital punishment), was assured to the accuser (who was hence called quadruplator).

Pliny the Elder and Martial mention instances of enormous fortunes amassed by professional delators. But it was not without its dangers. If the delator lost his case or refused to carry it through, he was liable to the same penalties as the accused; he was exposed to the risk of vengeance at the hands of the proscribed in the event of their return, or of their relatives; while emperors like Tiberius would have no scruples about banishing or putting out of the way those whom he had no further use for and who might have proved dangerous to himself.

In the twentieth century every totalitarian tyranny as relied in anonymous informers.

Vichy France was a notorious case, portrayed in the film Le Corbeau (the Raven), in which a village is plagued by unsigned poison-pen letters,

During the Vichy era, French residents sent between three and five million denunciation letters.[3] Civilians sent denunciations to everyone from local officials and law enforcement bureaus to national agencies and individuals such as the General Commissariat for Jewish Questions or even Marshal Pétain himself. Natives of the Limousin denounced newly arrived refugees, while some refugees denounced Limousins or other refugees; long-time neighbors denounced each other; and non-Jewish French men and women denounced “undesirable” Jews. Motivated by material gain, ideological commitment, self-preservation, or petty differences, residents of the region picked up their pens and regularly informed the government of their neighbors’ and acquaintances’ immorality and misdeeds. Individual willingness to resort to denunciations created an atmosphere in which officials noted that “Few people dare to talk. One has a tendency to see in his neighbor a possible denouncer.”[4] While denunciations could provide information on food or “racial” infractions that were admittedly difficult to police, they also created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion that opposed the ideals of the National Revolution. Rather than building a stronger community through the purge of harmful elements such as black marketeers, hoarders, and cultural outsiders, denunciations encouraged lying, dissimulation, and self-interested actions.

More:  Denunciations, Community Outsiders, and Material Shortages in Vichy France



Written by Andrew Coates

February 28, 2016 at 11:39 am

33 Responses

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  1. I think we should be very vigilant, (or should that be vigilante) with all our neighbours. We can’t have hard-working taxpayers money being wasted on luxuries like food or lecy, when MPs need that money for their pay rises, expenses and second homes. With a little bit of effort we could get that figure up to 99.7%

    Another Fine Recession

    February 28, 2016 at 6:02 pm

  2. A sign of the Tories vindictive hate spiteful dividing communities and mistrust,how much time and money has been wasted following up these claims?

    More attempts to criminalise at any cost.


    February 28, 2016 at 8:52 pm

  3. BT accused of ‘shameless profiteering’ over universal credit helpline



    February 28, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    • Just a point on that: are the “shop a Claimant” lines free of charge?

      Andrew Coates

      February 29, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      • Probably are.


        February 29, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      • Yes all 0800.

        “Report a benefit cheat online using the Targeting Benefit Thieves website”

        But the “Change in circumstances” number for honest claimants is 0345.

        Another Fine Recession

        February 29, 2016 at 5:16 pm

  4. Andrew

    Hattip to “unemploymentmovement”

    A pattern is starting to emerge.

    First we have Adam Perkins “Agreeableness if you’re Employed and a good ‘Peon'”

    Then this as you highlight.

    And today:



    The Adam Smith Institute is now willing to argue that those on benefits are genetically different to the rest of us.


    February 29, 2016 at 11:52 am

    • Me

      I’d like to know what genetic markers the’re using – this is smelling more and more like Nazi eugenics stuff to me

      Also they’re saying by default that if you’re a Pensioner your entire Genetic makeup has miraculously changed from the point of retiring?


      February 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      • In the interest of public order and national security foreigners could be forced to live in certain areas or in centers created for the express purpose of housing suspects. They were subject to close observation by police forces and any infractions concerning residence were punishable by six months’ to three years’ imprisonment. A complex system of classification of internees was also established distinguishing civil internees from detainees, prisoners of war, forced laborers, foreign workers, foreign undesirables, and French undesirables.

        Genetically different – the undesirables.


        February 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      • Internment of Japanese Americans in America during world war 2 ring any bells with you enigma ?

        The Taliban once said, “you may have the clocks but we have the time” so just like them and others waiting to fill the void in Iraq, how hard is it really going to be to wait before suspicion nolonger falls upon the individual/s ?

        Add the fact people who sell weapons pay no mind to who they sell to anywhere on the planet let alone the UK and what is the chances this could potentially have little to no effect to a terrorists goal.

        Are we to believe sleeper cells don’t exist, that their just a conspiratorial suggestion ?


        February 29, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      • Yes Doug, the similarities we can see.


        March 1, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    • Strange that you can be working for decades, then the Tories get in, your genetics change, and you become unemployed.

      Another Fine Recession

      February 29, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    • That is pretty outrageous stuff, no doubt a call for ‘eugenic’ engineering to remedy the condition.

      Didn’t Keith Joseph come out with something like that “human stock is threatened” because too many poor mothers have children.”

      Andrew Coates

      February 29, 2016 at 5:45 pm

  5. Oh how the walls of propaganda are falling by the wayside.

    This latest revelation that most reported fraud has been found to be fruitless strikes yet another victory for the myth busters which coincidentally ties in rather well with your post on the adam smith institute Gaza and the latest declaration by the producers of the latest poverty porn program that most claimants do INDEED want to work.

    Ive sat down and played with the math and this 15% represents 240’000 people that were convicted. Now where it gets really interesting is when you do the math for the IDS claimed amount of saving which was as he claimed 180 million. Now before i start we all know each case has to be taken individually what with people getting various amount over various time periods so with that in mind do remember this next calculation is apportioned to all parties being equal in a one year time frame so as to stress a valid point.

    If we were to divide this 180 million by 240’000, it would mean each party fraudulently claimed £750. Now although its been impossible to secure court records its safe to assume the shortest time frame that this is liable to have been committed would be around a year but as we read all to often this welfare fraud is perpetrated often over longer periods.

    Now if we divide this £750 over 52 weeks we get around £14.42 a week per individual. If it was 6 months it would be £28.84 and 3 month, being £57.69.

    So at this point if we put all i have said, even the case by case basis point, that the math in a manner of speaking doesn’t quite add up. It would infer would it not that either the 180 million is wrong or that it couldn’t have been 240’000 as if it was although collectively 180 million smarts the eyes, its rather been a waste in the taxpayers purse to pursue it what with the whole process of reporting,arresting and charging and in certain cases incarcerating costing infinitely more.


    February 29, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    • doug

      good points – cost of having someone in prison for one year £27K.

      good for g4s – nobody else methinks


      February 29, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    • Oh if someone from the institute be it itself or a poster does come here and read this they will no doubt say this is not the point but and its just my opinion, for a think tank based on the principle of free market capitalism would have thought this would be rather poignant.

      Or put another way, theirs no point chasing the race horse after its bolted the stable, especially when its run itself into a heart attack trying to evade its captors.

      I’m just a realist who believes in seeing what something actually is rather than what it is most certainly not.


      February 29, 2016 at 1:57 pm

  6. As for your post on the adam smith institute Gaza i do remember one gaia (not sure if the person on the adam smith site is one in the same) did quote a while back here about post 1900 eugenics.

    So it would appear our supposed betters are grinding their teeth again in an attempt to justify their actions as holy and just and in one posters case, natural selection (survival of the fittest).

    Where it all falls down of course apart from the fact the ZIKA virus doesn’t just route out the poor, is we only have to look at the leadership of a pride of lions to know even the most dominant suffers to same folly at the hands of the once was inferiors to know you just cant label something as so.

    Strong today,weak tomorrow. Weak today,strong tomorrow so is to say the least very subjective indeed don’t you think.


    February 29, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    • Me.

      I’m just waiting to see how Adam Smith et al clear up the point about Pensioners/Racism/Nazism and Genetics.

      Rock. Hard Place, anyone?


      February 29, 2016 at 1:46 pm

  7. How would Adam Smith classify me.. Working single mum. But wages too low and claims tax credits and housing benefit???


    February 29, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    • I don’t think you want to know the answer to that Katrehman, infact my reply has probably done just that anyway.

      Their was a time when our so called betters realized wealth wouldn’t be created, nor war fought and won without us but with the continual rise of technology over time im afraid we have all become but surplus to requirement, or should i say will be.

      Something tells me though even if we do all end up in heaven we will still have the last laugh if you consider ex machina. You see as far back as 1956 one John McCarthy brought AI intelligence to our minds and he himself long before ex machina comics,books,etc posed an interesting point.

      If it is conscious,self aware and can reason, why would it want to be considered human or even alive by our standards, an inferior inventor who nolonger serves a purpose.


      February 29, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      • I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

        HAL 9000

        March 1, 2016 at 8:58 am

      • I’m sorry, doug. I’m afraid I can’t do that. 😀

        HAL 9000

        March 1, 2016 at 9:00 am



        March 1, 2016 at 9:02 am

      • Stanley Kubrick

        March 1, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    • katrehman

      Don’t worry about it. we have so much to look forward too:

      “first they came for the unioninst… then they came for… et al”

      or the Miracle Full Body Genetic Cure as advised by Adam Smith Institute:

      “Retire! We guarnentee an instant full body Genetic change [the first in Medical History] that will make you not a Peon! Just visit one of our recomended trusty Pension Advisers to lose your pension and lose it all and die young. Be a wannabe ConCon…”

      If you survive to retire of course….


      February 29, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      • You forgot to mention their going to recode our DNA as poster stated on the adam smith institute so we only need half a bowl of rice per day (not kidding, its under the article about who should get vaccines).

        On another note your love this Gaza


        Proof positive we do indeed live in separate existencies.


        February 29, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      • doug old chap

        you’ve got to understand. a) female, really women MPs what ever next! Isn’t there a law against that? b) she’s black you know – you cannot miss it old chap c) they all look alike to me you know. Anyway she looks like a cleaner to me!!! Allegedly.

        [I’m black – it takes many many forms these days – father found out a ‘friend’ has been doing a one man nazi job on him for 40 years]


        February 29, 2016 at 8:24 pm

  8. Humorously OT?

    DULL TRAINING – (taken from a real job advert)!

    The candidate will have the following skills:
    – Basic understanding of health & safety.
    – No other skills required, dull training will be given.

    The ideal candidate will display the following aptitudes:
    – Willingness to learn quickly.
    – Enthusiasm for the position and company.
    – Attention to detail.

    No’ it’s not a vacancy at G4S or the DWP!


    February 29, 2016 at 6:45 pm

  9. There is no such thing as ‘random selection’ with these fraud investigations either. The DWP Fraud Squad have more than enough reports to get them going. If you get collared you can rest assured that you have been grassed up; by a ‘friend’, neighbour, work roach, work programme/ ‘provider staff’, your nearest and dearest, your ‘ex’, someone you mentioned to or someone who overheard you in the pub saying you had just bought a flat-screen TV…

    Fraud Squad

    March 1, 2016 at 9:11 am

    • That’s why the jobcentre keep calling you in for pointless chats to try and get you to slip up. Same with the work programme… they like to pretend they are you best buddy to try and get you to relax hoping you will slip up. One trick they use is to ‘volunteer’ something about themselves. And it will relate to whatever they want you to reveal about themselves. It is all about trying to get you to open up “Tell us about you” 🙂 “What are your hobbies and interests” 🙂 The least said the better but these bastards are having none of it. If you ever watch foreigners, like immigrants in the jobcentre they say very little only answering yes or no, they ever elaborate. It is best to say as little as possible and NEVER volunteer anything.


      March 1, 2016 at 9:20 am

      • And it will relate to whatever they want you to reveal about yourself. – typo


        March 1, 2016 at 9:21 am

  10. Surveillance law: Revised plans to be set out in Parliament

    The tech giants feared being forced to fit “backdoors” to their devices or make other changes to encryption that would compromise their customers’ security.

    Officials said the revised version of the Investigatory Powers Bill would put beyond doubt that companies can only be asked to remove encryption that they themselves have applied, and only where it is “practicable” for them to do so.



    March 1, 2016 at 12:35 pm


    Closing Remploy factories

    Scrapping the Independent Living Fund

    Cut payments for the disabled Access To Work scheme

    Cut Employment and Support Allowance

    Risk homelessness with a sharp increase disability benefit sanctions

    Sending sick people to work because of broken fitness to work tests

    The bedroom tax



    March 1, 2016 at 3:59 pm

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