Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Monday, 21 April 2008 14:06 UK

Lie detector software saves 500k

Voice-risk analyser software
The technology also helped claimants access 210,000

Lie detector software has saved a south London council almost 500,000 it was losing through benefit fraud.

During a phone call Voice Risk Analysis (VRA) software analyses minute changes in the voices of those claiming benefits to see if they are lying.

Lambeth Council said the use of VRA had proved so successful, it planned to extend the five-month pilot.

During the pilot, almost 1,700 people were assessed, of which 377 had their benefits stopped or decreased.

'Zero tolerance'

"Lambeth has a clear and tough policy of zero-tolerance of fraud," said David Ashmore from Lambeth's Revenues and Benefits department.

We use the system to help those who are entitled to more
David Ashmore, Lambeth Council

"We have a strong and multi-facetted counter fraud strategy. This cutting edge technology is another weapon in our armoury."

A further 261 people who were not aware of their full entitlement benefits, were given an extra 210,000.

"Under-claiming is quite common, especially as people's circumstances change," said Mr Ashmore.

"We use the system to quickly help those who are entitled to more.

"When their details have been verified, we can get assistance to them, often within a matter of days."

Lie detector tests benefit cheats
07 Dec 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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