Council tackles Blue Badge fraud in Dunstable
10 October 2018
Three people were convicted yesterday (9 October) at Luton Magistrates' Court for wrongful use of disabled Blue Badges in Dunstable.
On 14 June 2018, council officers took part in an enforcement exercise to ensure that Blue Badge disabled parking permits were being correctly used in Central Bedfordshire. During this exercise, the council officers checked 124 Blue Badges. They discovered vehicles in Ashton Square Car Park in Dunstable where the eligible badge holder wasn't present, so further action was taken.
Christina Money, of Tunworth Crescent in London, was found guilty of displaying a Blue Badge which should have been returned to Wandsworth Council. When officers checked they found the badge was not registered to Ms Money but to her father, who had died more than 12 years previously. The badge displayed also had an altered expiry date. After pleading guilty, Ms Money was given a community order of 60 hours of unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay £481 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.
William Roe, of West Street Dunstable, was found guilty of using his wife's Blue Badge when she was not present. Mr Roe pleaded guilty by post to one offence of misuse of a Blue Badge parking permit.He was sentenced to pay a fine of £80, a victim surcharge of £30 and £390 costs, coming to a total of £500.
In another case heard yesterday, a Dunstable woman was sentenced to pay fines totalling £1,072 for Blue Badge misuse, when she falsely claimed that she was withher disabled daughter who was later confirmed as being in school at the time.
Councillor Richard Wenham, Deputy Council Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources at Central Bedfordshire Council said: “People who illegally park in spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders are thoughtlessly taking spaces away from those with mobility problems and other disabilities who genuinely need them.
“Blue Badges are issued to people in our community who need them the most. They allow a disabled person to park closer to their destination and must only be used by another person if the badge holder is present and being dropped off or collected.
“We will be directing further effort to clamp down on this type of fraud in the future. The rules around Blue Badge use are very clear. If we catch people using them fraudulently then we will take action."