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27 September 2007

The indiscriminate and routine use of lie detectors on claimants is rapidly spreading.

Both Lambeth and Birmingham local authorities are to begin using lie detectors on housing benefit claimants in the autumn, with both schemes funded in part by the DWP. This is in addition to the pilot scheme in Harrow which we told readers about in April of this year.

Harrow claim that their use of lie detectors resulted in 126 'benefits cheats' being detected in its first three months of operation beginning in May this year, resulting in a saving of £110,000

The lie detectors are used in the course of telephone calls with claimants and, it is claimed, can detect minute changes in the voice which may indicate that a claimant is lying. Meanwhile, plans to use lie detectors on callers to Jobcentre Plus beginning some time in 2008 remain unchanged.