Arrests were made as officials clawed back thousands of pounds during investigations into benefit fraud.

Four people were arrested, three council houses freed up and two disabled parking badges seized for suspected misuse during a crackdown by Harrow Borough Council.

In a string of operations between February 3 and February 7, officers visited seven council properties which were being illegally sublet and ten addresses where individuals receive financial support or social care arrangements.

They also visited Stanmore Broadway to find people fraudulently using disabled badges.

In the past year, the team has prevented fraud losses of around £1million in similar operations.

Harrow Council leader Councillor Susan Hall said: “Our anti-fraud team are doing a brilliant job and have shown what can be achieved in just one week – unearthing cases which could amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“It doesn’t stop there and they will continue all year round to bring fraudsters to justice. Fraud is the same as stealing from your neighbour, as it means the council has less money to spend on the services residents need and deserve.

“We will continue to use all our powers to stamp out this unfair and unacceptable behaviour.”