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David White started as the office junior 44 years ago
A HUMBLE office junior from Middlesbrough who rose to the ranks of the country’s top benefit fraud investigator has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours.
David White, the head of the Fraud Investigation Service at the Department for Work and Pensions, started as the most junior worker in the Teesside office 44 years ago.
He built his career until seven years ago he was appointed as the head of fraud investigation for England, Wales and Scotland at the DWP. Since then the service has halved benefit fraud, saving the public purse about half a billion pounds a year.
Despite being a senior civil servant 62-year-old Mr White chooses to work from the DWP’s Stockton office, making the journey to London via train as and when he needs to.
The grandfather-of-two, who is originally from South Bank, Teesside, said: “I have been counting down the days until I can tell people – Christmas was nothing compared to the excitement of this.
“I think the key to cutting down on benefit fraud has been all of us getting the message out to people that they will be caught if they cheat the system, and they face prison and having to pay back a lot of money. That has been how we have been successful.”
He said he had some fantastic opportunities for foreign travel in his job, going to Poland, Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands for conferences.
“They all want to know how we are doing it,” he said. “We are being held up as an example and they all want to know how we have been so successful at cutting down on fraud.”
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