Councils lost £3.4 billion as a result of fraud last year according to the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at Portsmouth University. They estimate that only 3% of fraud is detected. They also believe the scale of fraud is eight times official estimates.
The figure does not include tax dodging or Council spending money just to use up budgets.
The Centre calls for anti fraud staffing and expertise. That sounds reasonable. I would also hope that spending transparency will help.