THOUSANDS of benefits cheats in Yorkshire have been punished thanks to a new fraud hotline.
Tip-offs from the public saw actions against alleged fraudulence more than double between 2002 and 2003.
Between 2001 and 2002 in Yorkshire and Humberside there were 1,125 prosecutions and sanctions carried out.
However, the following year, that figure rocketed to 2,804.
Nationally, 32,000 people who cheated on their Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance and Housing Benefit were pros- ecuted or found out last year.
A spokeswoman at the Department for Work and Pensions commented: "People are using the fraud hotline a lot more than they did.
"The fraud hotline has been excellent and we are doing more work with other agencies like councils, Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise."
In a survey, more than nine out of ten believed it was more important to stamp out benefit fraud than litter or graffiti.