As part of ongoing work to protect legitimate Blue Badge users, investigators in York have successful uncovered and prosecuted two instances of Blue Badge fraud.
Working with the Council’s fraud investigation service, Veritau, two cases of fraud have now been successfully convicted, helping protect the rights of Blue Badge holders across the city and ensure that Blue Badge holder parking facilities are available for those who actually need them.
The number of cases where Blue Badges fraud occurs are rare, but these cases were identified as part of the regular investigative work that takes place in the city. Blue Badges must only be displayed in parked vehicles where the badge owner is present, or when the driver is specifically parking to pick up or drop off the badge holder.
Steven McHale of Kingsgate, Bridlington (aged 39), was found to be misusing a Blue Badge that did not belong to him. The investigation determined that the badge holder was not with Mr McHale when he travelled to York, or in the city when his vehicle was parked in a disabled parking bay in Castle Car Park by Clifford’s Tower in March 2023.
Mr McHale was invited to attend an interview under caution about his use of the Blue Badge but failed to attend on three separate occasions.
During the court case, on 10 November, Mr McHale pleaded guilty and apologised for the offence, and for lying when had been confronted by Council officers on the day the Blue Badge was misused. York Magistrates Court ordered him to pay a £115 fine, £46 surcharge and £668 court costs.
Danel Balan, a takeaway delivery driver of Sandhurst Grove, Leeds (aged 29), was found using a photocopy of a Blue Badge which did not belong to him in York city centre in May 2023.
A Council Civil Enforcement Officer noted that the Blue Badge, used by Mr Balan to park on double yellow lines on Duncombe Place, appeared to be a paper photocopy.
Mr Balan was invited to attend an interview under caution about his misuse of the Blue Badge but failed to attend on three separate occasions.
During the court hearing on 8 December 2023, which Mr Balan did not attend, he was found guilty by York Magistrates Court which ordered him to pay a total of £1,657.
Since 2018, to protect people who need and legitimately use a Blue badge, City of York Council has successfully prosecuted 11 people for misusing a Blue Badge, 33 people have been cautioned, and 90 people have received written warnings.
From 4 January 2024, any Blue Badge holders driving into the city centre via Goodramgate, between 10:30am and 5pm, will have their Blue Badge checked as a condition of entry by staff at sliding barriers.