SIX people were arrested in connection with fraud as police officers forced doors in dawn raids around Bridlington.
Investigators from the Department of Work and Pensions joined Humberside Police as they targeted seven properties in the town, some busting locked doors with battering rams, to execute warrants for individuals suspected of committing benefit fraud.
Properties on Carlisle Road, Priory Walk, Flamborough Road, Trinity Road and Greenfield Road amongst others were raided by teams of police and investigators from around 8.20am on Tuesday, July 12.
Bob Gallacher, a unit fraud investigator with the Department for Work and Pensions said that the six people were arrested in connection with defrauding payments from the Social Fund – a Government scheme to help those who need help with rent or a deposit when moving into a new home.
“This was an excellent and successful operation, working with Humberside Police, who helped and supported us with our investigations,” said Mr Gallacher.
“Payments made from the Social Fund are generally around £400 to £500 and are in effect crisis loans to help people with payments when moving properties.
“Throughout the course of our investigations, it has became clear that those trying to defraud this system see this money as a lump sum and have no intention to use the money for the intended purpose.”
Investigators at the Department for Work and Pensions have been gathering evidence on those targeted for “a few months”, and have introduced new security measures in a bid to ensure the scheme is not subject to further fraud.
DS Gavin Orsborne, of the Humberside Police serious and acquisitive crime team, said that small amounts of drugs were also found during the raids, and that the operation had been a “success”.
“It has been a joint operation with other law enforcement agencies and we have achieved our objectives,” said DS Orsborne.
The men were arrested and questioned, while their properties were searched for evidence.
All were later released on police bail.
“We are optimistic that charges will be brought against them, and efforts will continue to track down those individuals who have committed fraud,” said DS Orsborne.