In response to the Sunday Times, the deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council has issued a statement. Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith, deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said:
“Fraud is an issue the council takes very seriously, not just because taxpayers money is being used to support people, but because genuine survivors and bereaved families have raised concerns with us, and we share those concerns.
“Our absolute priority has always been to assist and help first – it is only right that we do so when families are faced with such extreme trauma and tragedy. Where officers had doubts, they reported it, and then investigations take place. Investigating and proving any type of fraud always takes time.
“It is hugely important to me, and to the council, that public perception of survivors and bereaved is not tarnished by the acts of what is a very small minority.
“The families I have met, worked with, and I hope helped, have been nothing but dignified and respectful. I see a lot of awful things said on social media and reported in the media – and I would urge people to try and understand what families have been through and respect their need for privacy and peace.”
Kensington and Chelsea Council has a dedicated fraud team for Grenfell cases. The team has been given extra resources, and includes senior officers with experience in local government and housing fraud. They are working in partnership with the police.
The council has a number of fraud investigations underway, and we have handed a number of cases to the police. We do not discuss case specifics or individual details, as it may impact investigations or any subsequent prosecutions.
The council also has clear policies in place for officers to follow when they think fraud has taken place, and we will take action – including evictions – where necessary.
If anyone has any concerns over fraud cases they can contact the fraud team on 020 7361 2777 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org