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Nottingham business develop new technology councils to tackle tenancy fraud

Nottingham business develop new technology councils to tackle tenancy fraud

Specialist technology is being used by local councils to combat tenancy fraud, saving them countless hours in analysing thousands of cases each year.  

Developed by investigative tech firm, Altia, the Financial Investigation Toolkit has supported South West London Fraud Partnership (SWLFP) in reducing analysis times by up to 90%, with reviews taking 10 minutes on average rather than several hours.  

Following its success with SWLFP, Altia is now looking to roll the software out to other councils across the UK to help them tackle tenancy fraud efficiently. 

The software’s positive results come after 148K social housing homes in England were subject to tenancy fraud throughout 2023, representing 1-in-20 of all social homes across London, and costing the public purse an estimated £155m.i  

With SWLFP seeing a 50% increase in its own case referrals, the toolkit enables them to automate financial analysis and allow them to stay ahead of rising tenancy fraud across London.  

Altia designed the toolkit to help organisations automate the process of converting information into a clear digital format, as well as to help them identify entities, trends, relationships, and investigative avenues.  

Tenancy fraud remains an issue across London, exerting considerable pressure on social housing resources and impeding efforts to provide secure accommodation for those in genuine need.  

Traditionally, fraud infringements are identified when councils manually check a tenant’s housing record against other records such as bank statements, housing benefit, or the electoral roll. 

However, SWLFP, which looks after 55,000 social houses across five London boroughs - Merton, Richmond, Sutton, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Kingston – in tackling fraud, found the recent rise in referrals made it unfeasible to manually scrutinise statements.  

To avoid perpetrators from flying under the radar, SWLFP have now automated the process of analysing information using the Toolkit, allowing them to build reports for clear, compelling cases which should be investigated further. 

The software automatically uploads bank statements or other records into an excel format which is ready for analysis, while it also automates the visualisation of flows between accounts being investigated, showing their size and scale.  

As a result, SWLFP is able to reallocate its resources more effectively and focus on where the most pressing action is required. 

Bruce Baden, Intelligence Officer at SWFPL, said:

“By automating the process of finding links in financial data to demonstrate the need for further information and an interview under caution, Altia’s Financial Investigation Toolkit has helped us work more cases and focus our resources on the most complex investigation work.  

“We’ve even been able to expand this work beyond tenancy fraud. One case that has been a particular success is where the analysis through the Toolkit and quick reports showed a pattern of a carer withdrawing and transferring funds to his account from the person he was charged with caring for.  

“We are now hoping to use the output reports generated for cases where prosecution is being considered.” 

Rob Sinclair, Altia CEO, said:

“I'm proud to witness our Financial Investigation Toolkit making significant strides in helping SWFPL combat tenancy fraud and help safeguard integrity within the housing sector. 

“Tenancy fraud not only stops those who are genuinely in need from getting support, it is also a huge drain on the public purse. It simply shouldn’t be allowed to continue and we’re pleased to be a part of stopping it from happening. 

“The Toolkit is an exciting part of Altia’s product offering and we’re looking forward to working with other partners and local councils across the country to implement it, and help them turn tenancy fraud on its head. 

“For anyone interested in utilising our Financial Investigation Toolkit, please get in touch.” 

Headquartered in Nottingham, Altia specialises in innovative solutions for digital intelligence and investigation, leveraging advanced technologies while providing software tools and services to law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and corporate entities. 

To learn more about Alta’s Financial Investigation Toolkit call 0330 808 8600 or visit: 

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