York council has tackled blue badge fraud in the city.
To support disabled people who use blue badges, City of York Council took part in a national day of action.
Council parking officers and fraud investigators from Veritau – the organisation that investigates fraud on behalf of the council – worked together to check the use of blue badges across the city to help ensure that the city’s designated parking spaces were being used correctly.
On 2 June, 84 badges were checked across the city.
As a result, two drivers were issued with fines and a badge was confiscated because the blue badges were being used by people who weren’t badge holders or who weren’t supporting the badge holder.
It comes after magistrates fined a visitor to York who parked in a blue badge spot by using his dead relative’s badge.
York Magistrates ordered Thomas Prior, 68, of Waterside Road, Barton-upon-Humber, to pay a fine for misusing a deceased family member’s blue badge in August.
An investigation into the misuse was conducted by Veritau following a report from a civil enforcement officer. The officer had noted that the expiry date on a displayed blue badge had been altered to give the impression that it was still valid.
On 12 May, Mr Prior submitted a postal guilty plea to the court for the wrongful misuse of the blue badge.
He was ordered to pay £1,652.67 which included a fine of £600, costs of £812.67 and a court surcharge of £240.
Although almost all blue badges are used correctly, a small minority of people fraudulently use other people’s badges, either to save money by parking in disabled bays or who just want to park closer to their destination.
It’s an offence to misuse a blue badge, with offenders facing possible prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
Pauline Stuchfield, director of customer and communities at City of York Council, said: “Over 7,200 Blue Badges are held in York and we know that fraudulent use of them is a concern for the disabled community.
“However, as not all disabilities are visible and to avoid causing any unnecessary stress for a genuine Blue Badge owner, please report any suspected misuse of a blue badge to Veritau rather than challenge an individual directly.”
To report suspected fraud against the council, including misuse of a blue badge, call Veritau’s hotline on 0800 9179 247, or email [email protected]. The call can be anonymous, and all concerns are treated seriously.
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