Hundreds of people in Hounslow are using free travel passes which are registered to people who have died, it has been revealed.
A total of 755 of Freedom Passes issued by Hounslow Council , which allow the user to travel at no cost on public transport in London, are being used by used by someone else.
The council said the passes issued by the council have been matched as belonging to residents who are deceased, but remain in use by someone else.
The fraudulent use means £11,000 is lost annually to the local authority when people use a free pass that does not belong to them.
Following identification of the mis-used passes by the National Fraud Initiative, and forwarded on by London Councils, Hounslow Council has cancelled these from the week ending April 7.
As a result of these latest findings, the council is urging people to report when a pass is no longer required following the death of a person.
This can be done via the Government website Tell Us Service .
A warning has been issued by the council that anyone caught using a pass fraudulently could face prosecution.
Councillor Kamaljit Kaur, cabinet member for adult social care and health services at Hounslow Council, said: “Using a Freedom Pass that doesn’t belong to you is fraud, as simple as that.
"It is very easy to report when a pass is no longer required and we urge residents to do that.
“Sadly the situation as to why the pass is no longer needed is mainly due to a person passing away, which we know is a difficult time for the family and friends of that resident and that will always be respected.
"But we do need to know by law that it is no longer in use by that person.
“The consequences of using a pass that is not yours could lead to prosecution.”
In Hounslow, the council provides 3,806 Disabled Persons Freedom Passes and 33,636 Older Persons Freedom Passes to residents across the borough.
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