Benefit Fraud

The CPS took on the prosecution of DWP criminal investigations in 2012, and until the restructure of fraud work in July 2018, these cases were handled exclusively by the Specialist Fraud Division (SFD). Since the restructure, only DWP cases meeting the SFD referral criteria continue to be prosecuted in SFD, with the others handled by the specialist fraud centres in CPS Wessex, Mersey-Cheshire and Wales. 

Section 128 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (WRA) permits the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and persons providing services to the Secretary of State to disclose social security information to the Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP) for the purpose of the functions exercised by the DPP. 

Section 129 of the WRA 2012 prescribes the use that can be made of social security (including tax credit) information disclosed by the Secretary of State under Section 128 and creates an offence of unlawful disclosure. CPS prosecutors disclosing social security information in accordance with the DPP’s functions and CPS policies will incur no liability. 

Information given to the court is reportable in the usual way.

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