Gardaí to join welfare staff in anti-fraud crackdown

Two specialist Garda officers will work alongside social protection inspectors in County Longford as part of a new anti-fraud initiative. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
Gardaí are to be drafted into Longford in a government-led crackdown on social welfare fraud, writes Liam Cosgrove.

Gardaí are to be drafted into Longford in a government-led crackdown on social welfare fraud, writes Liam Cosgrove.

Twenty specialised officers are to join forces with social protection inspectors across the country this week, two of whom are to be assigned to Co Longford.

The pilot scheme has been given the green light by the Department of Public Expenditure and formally approved by Tánaiste Joan Burton, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, and newly appointed Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.

Officers who are seconded to the department will work with inspectors in compiling evidence of welfare fraud, investigate allegations and initiate investigations over the course of the next 12 months.