Fighting Fraud: An Evaluation of the Government’s Social Security Fraud Strategy

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This article examines the government S strategy for dealing withsocial security fraud. The Social Security (Administration) Fraud Act I997has been enacted to facilitate the detection, prosecution and punishmentof benefit fraud. In addition, the government has published a Green Paperon fruud and, more recently, a Command Paper on ‘Safeguarding SocialSecurity ’, both of which emphasize the importance of preventing fraud andre-educating the public about its nature and severio. Both papers, howevel;fail to deal adequately with the motivations to commit fraud and how this mayimpact on public attitudes to fraud. This article examines public reactionto benefit fraud, and points out that the public have differentiated fraud onthe basis of ‘greed’ or ‘need’. I suggest that, i f the government S anti-fraudstrategy is to be effective, the link between justijiable motivation and publicopinion needs to be taken into account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-371
JournalJournal of Social Welfare and Family Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • criminalization
  • motivations
  • prevention
  • public attitudes
  • reform
  • social security fraud


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