This article provides an additional 2 years of data to the study by Prenzler (2014b) on reductions in welfare fraud in Australia. The original study covered 14 years, with the number of cases falling by approximately 75 per cent in the final 3 years. Data for 2013–2014 to 2014–2015 show that these large reductions were sustained with a continuing slight downward trend overall. The article also analyses possible explanations, focusing on the maintenance of an ‘early contact’ system assisting customer compliance, and maintenance of an investigative focus on larger suspected frauds. At the same time, the article draws attention to some problematic aspects of the programme, including ambiguities about the influences on the reduction in cases, ongoing opportunities for fraud, major disparities in sentencing and the prosecution of large numbers of women.
Crime Prevention and Community Safety / Vol. 18, No. 3, pp.187-203