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Disabled blue badge parking fraud rocketing in the UK

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 17, 2014

Blue Badge

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Blue badge fraud is rocketing.

People abusing parking spaces reserved for disabled people has doubled in three years according to a report by the Local Government Association (LGA).

Prosecutions include professional people such as lawyers and architects and scams including using a dead relative's blue badge to secure an easy parking space.

Unscrupulous fraudsters have even been caught leaving a disabled parent stuck at home in order to park for free to go shopping or travel to work, said the LGA.

There were 686 successful council prosecutions in 2013 - up from 330 in 2010 as councils cracked down on offenders.

More than two million disabled people use blue badges for free parking in pay-and-display bays and parking for up to three hours on yellow lines through the nationwide scheme. In London, badge-holders are exempt from the congestion charge.

The LGA said Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Plymouth Council and Hull City Council recently secured their first prosecutions against fraudsters while Manchester City Council has a 100% conviction rate with more than 500 prosecutions in the past five years.

Councils are also using new powers to seize and confiscate badges suspected of being used illegally and some have set up specific enforcement teams to tackle blue badge fraud.

Peter Box, chairman of the LGA's economy and transport board, said: "It is shocking how low some people are stooping in order to con a few hours of free parking, including using a dead relative's blue badge or leaving a disabled parent trapped in their home.

"Councils are determined to do everything in their power to protect the quality of life for our disabled and vulnerable residents."

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13 comments

  • SandraPee  |  May 18 2014, 9:36PM

    It might have been a good idea to have shown a current Blue Badge ........ this is an old one !

  • P_I_Staker  |  May 18 2014, 2:32PM

    May I comment on this one, there has probably been no increase in the abuse of "Blue Badges" it's just that they are now looking for the abuse and prosecuting. If your not looking for something you will not find it!

    |   3
  • SandraPee  |  May 18 2014, 12:30PM

    honslknjklyt. ''this is one of the reasons why those abusing the badge place them deliberately upside down hoping the traffic warden will be lenient'' . If you placed the blue badge wrong side up ( with the photo showing ) you'd get a parking ticket ......... whether it was the legal holder of the badge or not ! The traffic officers scan the front of the cards through the windscreen to ascertain whether the badge is legal or out of date . Any genuine badge holder would be very silly indeed to let anyone else use it without them being present and risk having it confiscated . Sadly you'll always get someone who abuses the system .

    |   3
  • honslknjklyt  |  May 17 2014, 10:03PM

    Roadwombat@"NibNobs - "disabled badges DO have a photograph of the holder. It's just that it's on the rear." And this is one of the reasons why those abusing the badge place them deliberately upside down hoping the traffic warden will be lienient, and should they get a ticket get the holder to scream blue murder to the press how they were doing something of great emergency such as going to empty their bladder, pensioner, first time ever of forgetting and in the rush forgot. There will of course be no evidence whatsoever that they were in the vehicle but the councils let them off and they know it.

    |   8
  • RoadWombat  |  May 17 2014, 7:44PM

    Simple solution. ALL newly issued blue badges should have a passport size picture of the holder/s. ANYONE parking the car not on the photo/s should be entitled to a ticket or tow-away. NibNobs - disabled badges DO have a photograph of the holder. It's just that it's on the rear.

  • honslknjklyt  |  May 17 2014, 7:12PM

    Too right, RoadWombat another when they say, I am a carer The carer is not disabled so they don't need the badge but they somehow think they do!!

    |   4
  • RoadWombat  |  May 17 2014, 6:42PM

    Another favourite is to plonk the disabled person in the passenger seat to go and get their medication for them. Able bodied person parks on the double yellows and goes into the shop, leaving the disabled person sat in the car. There is no reason why that car can't be parked like anyone else's - Total and utter abuse of the badge!

    |   5
  • NibNobs  |  May 17 2014, 6:33PM

    Simple solution. ALL newly issued blue badges should have a passport size picture of the holder/s. ANYONE parking the car not on the photo/s should be entitled to a ticket or tow-away. Of course the usual lie/excuse to the traffic warden will be "I was just getting some medicine for me ol' mum" and the traffic warden should say "what, in McDonalds and Ladbrooks sir?" take badge away for 30 days or 60 days for arguing!

    |   8
  • honslknjklyt  |  May 17 2014, 5:40PM

    @Hagamaja It IS the blue badge holders who often abuse these badges. There is 2 cars I know of, very low sporty wannabbee cars, never ever take the disabled badge holder out in the car, yet the drivers pay no parking as their disabled mothers blue badge is in the hands of the very fit and able drivers. The blue badge holder ARE abusing this badge as much as the ones using it. The council are aware of this as I have brought it to the attention of the council by phone and to the wardens. Yet still after 6 years, they are still using the badge and never once seen the mothers in the cars.

    |   4
  • RoadWombat  |  May 17 2014, 2:07PM

    Now, lets' get this straight before the "I don't read past the first line" mob start howling at the moon: I have no problem with a genuinely disabled person being permitted to park close to shops in a dedicated bay where that is reasonable. However (and this is the cue for the moon-bayers to exercise their vocal chords) there is no justification for allowing a disabled badge concession on a yellow-line parking restriction, and here's why. Such a restriction is in place for two reasons - preventing obstruction by parked vehicles and safety. In other words, they're saying that by plonking a lump of metal x feet wide by x feet long at that point, you'll be obstructing the highway and/or causing a safety problem. So why is it that when another piece of metal of exactly the same dimensions is plonked at exactly the same place, it suddenly doesn't cause an obstruction and isn't a safety hazard purely because it has a badge in the window? The stock answer from the moon-bayers will be "how would you like it if you were disabled?" which takes us back to the second part of my first sentence. Go and read it again before commenting.

    |   8

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