OAPs asked to prove age to stop bus pass fraud

More than 4,000 pensioners in Exmouth are being asked to prove their age and disability because some personal details are ‘missing’.

County transport bosses are sending out 14,000 letters across East Devon urging pensioners to fill in missing and incomplete personal details from this week up until December because of fears over bus pass fraud.

The details were left out or lost following the transfer of a concessionary national bus scheme from the district to the county council this year.

The residents were recipients of East Devon’s free bus pass scheme up to April 1, 2011 but, during the transfer, some personal information was missing or out of date.

Clare Stone of the transport co-ordination service said that the letters where needed to complete the data held about East Devon resident national bus pass holders.

She said that, while East Devon District Council (EDDC) handed over the data held about their pass holders, ‘elements’ were missing.

The missing information includes disability, eligibility, date of birth and other information needed to ensure the scheme was run effectively and ‘with minimum risk of fraud.’

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She said: “Where a pass was issued due to a disability, the pass holder will be asked to provide up to date proof of a continuing disability as has been and continues to be the practice with residents of other parts of the county, unless the disability is permanent.

“Where there is evidence from the record that someone has a learning disability, then records have been checked with the East Devon learning disability team to avoid the necessity for a letter to be sent out.”

She added that, while the county council received 38,000 records from EDDC prior to April 2011, some data was retrieved by other means, which reduced the number of people they needed to contact.

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