“We will track you down

 “We will find you

 “And we will bring you to justice”

That was the message to fraudulent PIP, DLA and ESA claimants delivered in a DWP video by a stab-vest clad DWP minister for disabled people and filmed before a backdrop of handcuffed suspects, wailing sirens and smashed-in doors.

What Tom Pursglove didn’t add was:

“We won’t answer the phone.

 “We won’t do your assessment.

 “And we will ignore the law whenever we want.”

But this video wasn’t about telling the truth, it was about instilling fear, distracting from failure and looking tough in a DWP branded vest.

The clip is certainly attracting attention, though. It has been viewed over six million times already.

The video features the arrest of suspects accused of defrauding the taxpayer of £800,000 over a period of four years. They allegedly used fake power of attorney applications, plus assorted bogus medical records, to apply for PIP, DLA and ESA.

We welcome the pursuit and arrest of people who deliberately defraud the system in this way.

But, in reality, organised fraud in relation to disability benefits is extremely rare.

Most organised benefits fraud is in connection with universal credit and housing benefit and, even then, it represents only a very small proportion of the benefits bill.

Much smaller than the level of PPE and covid loan fraud, for example, which doesn’t seem to give rise to similar, hard-as-nails minister films.

We can only agree with what the charity Z2K said of this video:

“We look forward to the video about the 80% of PIP appeals that DWP loses or concedes. It denies far more people their legal entitlements than it loses to fraud.

 No wonder disabled people have no trust in the Department.”

UPDATE: The DWP deleted their original tweet containing this video.  The original text featured the quote at the top of this article, followed by the claim that 'At the DWP we have a very particular set of skills that we use in conjunction with the police to tackle fraud'.  This has now been replaced by text which says 'We won't tolerate the theft of support and targeting of the vulnerable.' You can view the new tweet and video here

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Frank Birchenough · 9 months ago
    The only criminals who really should be tracked down and jailed are siting on leather benches in Westminster.

    Remember, this government is composed of people who voted to break the law of the land, and outside the chamber, would be charged with being part of an organised conspiracy.

    They would all people rather forget that Brandon Lewis stood at the despatch box and actually said those words, - "this does break the law"  so it is more that hypocritical for the latest Fascist in a Saville Row suit to pretend to be a lawmaker, not a lawbreaker.

    He, like the majority of the Tories, is on record as voting to do just that, despite some of the less deranged types murmuring that observing the "law is non-negotiable"
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    A.Mick · 9 months ago
    looks like its been taken down. oh dear...
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Mike · 9 months ago
    Shame you didn't download the original video.
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    alastair · 10 months ago
    Wait until hw clashes with Vicky Foxcroft MP,only Labour MP I would vote for.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jace · 10 months ago
    They have money to spend on stab vest DWP or fascism it's pretty much the same thing when disabled ♿ people are victimised by the vile rhetoric thinking that disabled are work shy scroungers. And they'll be better of and cured working. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jessica · 10 months ago
    Tom Purglove is my MP, I have been trying for months to get him to do something about all the disabled people who are being discriminated against by not including them in the full Cost of Living payments. 
    If you are disabled and getting old style ESA Contributions based there is literally no help available. Other than the insulting £150!! Also with the missed out on Warm Home Discount the government could not care less about millions of disabled people who are being denied the benefits that they so desperately need. 

    I have had several replies from numerous MPs informing me that I am not eligible because I am not getting a legacy benefit, even though they have admitted in writing that I am entitled to Income based ESA and Contribution based but according to one MP you can not get both paid at the same time. 
    Tom Pursglove is only interested in keeping his position and the elections! He may send out letters claiming to be doing “ All that he can to help his constituents “ but it’s a lie!!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 9 months ago
      @spriggsy This umberella is utter confusing to claimants.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Denise Lee · 9 months ago
      @Andrea I was in the same situation. I wrote to DWP asking to be put onto income based ESA as it was financially beneficial to me. They then put me on income based with an underlying entitlement to contribution based.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      spriggsy · 9 months ago
      @Andrea claim income related esa if you qualify. you can still claim this legacy benefit as youre already on ESA, and IRESA/CBESA are all under ESA umbrella
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Maria Nelson · 10 months ago
      @Andrea Id get cab to investigate you should get back paid all of what you lost. I was underpaid EDP for 3 years and got it back now they’re taking my WHD cos of their underpayments 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Andrea · 10 months ago
      @Jessica I am in the same boat!  Have MS and have been on contributions based esa since it was incapacity benefit.  Never got an answer like you and am sick of missing out on all the perks of income based.  The whole system is a nightmare.  £150 is a joke…one months energy bill! 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Annie ONeill · 10 months ago
    I love these accounts of how the DWP try to promote themselves as caring … when the reality is veiled hatred toward claimants.. so succinctly evidenced 😜
    For Gods sake everyone we need a Labour government for a stretch !
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 9 months ago
      @Annie ONeill Annie ONeill,

      Labour wont be any different. Whats needed is a complete new political party, which has no other existing political party rats jumping ship onto the new party, only to influnce that party with toryism, labourism, and lib sit on the fence dems.

      At the end of the day, sick/ill/ disabled people will always be an easy target for governments.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Caiti · 10 months ago
      @Annie ONeill Do not trust Labour. They will not improve things for benefit claimants. Undoubtedly they will be the next party to gain power but please don't expect things to change.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Arthur · 10 months ago
    Typical of a DWP allowed even encouraged by politicians who know nothing of poverty or struggling to get by.
    Daresay that those behind the video will be congratulating themselves on launching another attack on benefit claimants.(Why not tax avoidance a far worse problem?).
    Always seems to be the same Tory government's become unpopular and start talking about being tough on crime or illegal immigration with ridiculous but headline grabbing plans. Gradually these get forgotten and nothing gets better. They then start talking tough on benefits and all of a sudden public enemy number 1 is us the disabled the benefit claimants in general the weakest poorest most vulnerable people.
    The people behind this are inhuman in every respect. The worst part is the awful predictability of it all.



  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    catherine montgomery · 10 months ago
    i recently applied to have my pip looked at again as my condition has worsened, i phoned them and they said they would send me the form to fill in and that i had a month to return it, 3 1/2 weeks latter it hadnt arrived, so i phoned them again, total of the 2 phone calls waiting on the phone 6.2 hours, got through explained that the form had not come, she changed the date of return and said she would send me another on to fill in, it arrived 3 weeks and 2 days later, and with the postal strikes the date it had to be sent back by was less than a week.   i filled it in and i deliberately sent it back by special delivery which meant that they should have received it within 24 hours, it took nearly 6 weeks to get there,  i had phoned them a third time and told them that i had only had it a few days and that i had sent it back by special delivery, she asked me for tracking number which i had, i think they thought that i was lying because when i gave it to her she was so surprised.  she said it would be ok as i had given them the tracking number and they could check it if necessary.   made me feel like i was trying it on.
    i had the telephone consultation about 2 weeks later, and then the letter from them with the outcome approximately a week later.
    i had a bad reaction to the covid vaccine and i still can only do about 30 minutes a day and not all at once, of normal everyday activity.
    their response was that my condition had not changed at all, (my last review was in 2018, and i did not have a consultation with anybody at
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jo · 10 months ago
    This is the sort of thing that set my agoraphobia into melt down. I was given a warning for fraud after a clerical error when my ESA changed to income based. I became paranoid that if I went out on a good day they would think I was lying about the level of my disability and my fibromyalgia. This just installs that fear in others. It is a terrible feeling and I wouldn't want others to go through it unlike the DWP it seems. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Hetty · 10 months ago
    Surely their amended statement is what anyone supporting claimants and vulnerable people, would say.

     'The theft of support, and targeting the vulnerable'. That's a strange description of a fraudster in this context. It's the DWP who are denying 'support and targeting the vulnerable'.
    As has been pointed out, the contracts handed out for fake and unusable PPE by the Tories is real fraud, it's also far higher than £38billion. Absolute disgrace. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Donna jones · 10 months ago
    This makes me so sad, mad, scarex and self doubting all at the same time.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Phil · 10 months ago
    That s an absolute disgrace ministers like this arnt fit for office he should be thrown out as an MP 
    He is lucky he’s not on the other side of the fence having chemotherapy daily having to take medication morning and night going for regular hospital appointments and tests and through operations going through pain 24/7 
    How is he fit to be an MP in charge of DWP and disability absolutely shocking 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Tracey Creech. · 10 months ago
    This is diabolical.  Stigmatised by the very deptments set up to support us.  Imagine a slaughter house running a zoo.  Welcome to government policy in 2023.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Kitty F · 10 months ago
    Blatant hypocrisy from Tories never surprises me. 
    Utterly shameful. 
    I despair. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    June Howe · 10 months ago
    I find it hard to believe that we the British Disabled people who have (certainly in my case) have work all my life. Worked 12 hours night duty for the NHS, now with back, hip ankle joint issues, iv had two Subarachnoid brain haemorrhage, the we have to fight to get what is rightfully ours. Iv paid my  Tax etc, this should be our Rights, to have in our hours of need, the only benefit which I claim is PiP. 
    To know that our country’s Government is scheming behind our backs is beyond shocking. 
    Our Government is being fraudulent, so therefore the Police forensic accountants should take over the Disability dept, and be able to override all this fraudulent goings on. 
    Charge those who are behind this and be proud to accept we are. People who still have to eat, pay bills. Etc 
    Disgraceful 

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Tia · 9 months ago
      @June Howe I have been fighting the DWP for years.
      I contacted my MP , still nothing, they are all on the same side . All I got back was more lies from the DWP. My mental Health has suffered at the hands of the DWP. All I would like is to be paid correctly and compensated for their disgusting behaviour towards me.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Maria Nelson · 10 months ago
      @June Howe I’m ex served my spines gone too OA  ex auxilluary nurse. . Used to do the TA on top but hey I’m an undeserving scrounger. I was autistic too . Also 12 years free care to a lady with cancer and her dog whilst disabled myself and LP activist under  Corbyn and permitted work. I blew my top my Dr understands me now. Can’t even get a bungalow stuck in a semi rural flat up 2 flights of stairs. Housing associations selling their homes to private investors who get 12% extra returns LHA last time I looked for Newcastle was £393.20  May of gone up £10 pm in April not sure but the private rents cheapest for bungalows is £750. I’m being offered if I’m lucky 1 bungalow a week because I’m working aged under 55  have waited 4 year come august they goofed and put me off the list when I was updating my housing medical firm with autism. My mp and Drs wrote letters of support. I’m trying to move so I can access support re autism and to do a advocacy training course thing and sociology. Suggested by autism team who won’t help till I get a bungalow. Because I can’t do physical stuff now. MH services unvalidated my whole life misdiagnosing my autism and likely adhd I subject accessed my medical notes snd everything was 1 sided 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      catherine montgomery · 10 months ago
      @June Howe June, i agree  100% with you, i worked full time, was the main carer for my mother for 27 years, so that she didnt have to go into a nursing home, god knows how much that saved the state in nursing home fees, must be tens of thousands.  having spinal damage myself one of the district nurses who came out to her said that because she was paralysed and could not weight bare, or even feel her legs let alone use them, if she put her arms around my neck and i stood her up with her hanging with all of her weight hanging from my neck, and twisted round i would be able to lift her out of bed into the wheelchair and vice versa or into the car.   so somebody who already had spinal damage had to do this because it saved people who the gp's paid to actually do the job, time in that they didnt need to come out and do the job they were being paid for.  
      from that all of the nerves in my neck are totally mangled, the spinal damage fibromyalga and chronic fatigue which has been made worse by a reaction to the covid vaccine
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jade S · 10 months ago
    Do we have any current benefits fraud stats? Disability related ones? Would love to know how much this ad cost too, and who was paid for it...
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Peter · 10 months ago
    Usual macho posturing and dog whistles.
    This isn't pretty and it's designed to keep people scared and to make others angry.

    Happy days 😔 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    RumTruffle · 10 months ago
    I think they deleted it due to the volume of comments on the video from everyone (myself included) who was horrified by it. It was clearly intended to frighten claimants
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Maria Nelson · 10 months ago
      @RumTruffle I never seen it. What a shame . What about the 100.000 k this autistic benefit claimant was denied for 14 years on BS misdiagnosis if my spine autism snd likely adhd. Then underpaid me 3 years . And have stolen my WHD even though I get pip and esa and no other income then give me the run around to deliberate wrong departments . DWP are a fascist cruel department 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Barrie · 10 months ago
    How about cracking down on tax avoidance - a much bigger issue than benefit fraud. Is this man really our disability minister? 
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