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Blue Badge Disability Parking Fraud - Free Parking for Fraudsters


  • Published: 2011-08-04 (Revised/Updated 2013-06-12) : Author: Disabled Motoring UK
  • Synopsis: Results of a survey carried out by the charity Disabled Motoring UK with the help of Blue Badge Fraud Investigation.

Although most authorities replied that they had had reports of misuse these rarely ended up as prosecutions.

Results of a survey carried out by the charity Disabled Motoring UK with the help of Blue Badge Fraud Investigation, shows that in many areas Local Authorities are doing absolutely nothing to combat fraud and misuse of the Blue Badge scheme. This leads to a large number of fraudsters parking for free and depriving genuine disabled people from being able to access their town and city centers. By allowing this fraud to continue unchecked Local Authorities could be breaching the Equality Act 2010 which states that Local Authorities have a duty to investigate any activity that discriminates against a disabled person.

Although most authorities replied that they had had reports of misuse these rarely ended up as prosecutions. The average number of prosecutions per authority (for those that replied) was a miserly 2.9 per year in 2009 rising to an average 4.5 prosecutions in 2010. Although the results have improved from 2009 to 2010 they are not a true reflection of what most authorities are doing as most don't prosecute anybody. The most common response for number of prosecutions per year was 0. It is only because there are a small number of authorities such as Islington, Enfield, Wandsworth, Birmingham and Staffordshire who have taken Blue Badge abuse seriously that the average number of prosecutions is not lower. For example in 2010 Birmingham City Council prosecuted 124 Blue Badge fraudsters and the London Borough of Enfield prosecuted 75.

Some of the comments to the survey were also quite disheartening. For example Flintshire Council said: "We do not enforce or prosecute Blue Badge misuse, therefore this information is not held". Although most councils did name a department that was responsible for enforcement it was clear from the total lack of any recorded prosecutions that very little, if any, enforcement is being carried out. This is no surprise considering most authorities do not have any officers allocated to investigating Blue Badge misuse.

Helen Dolphin Director of Policy and Campaigns for Disabled Motoring said "I was not surprised to see how bad the results were but I was disappointed by the number of Local Authorities not doing anything to stop it. We hear from our members how difficult parking is becoming and by people using stolen, fake or "borrowed" badges the situation is only getting worse. By taking action Local Authorities will be sending out a strong message that this crime will no longer be tolerated and those found using a badge that does not belong to them will be suitably punished. There are a number of authorities having a good success rate with prosecutions which shows it can be done."

Disabled Motoring UK is a campaigning charity for disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders. For more information on Blue Badge Fraud Investigation, please go to www.bbfi.co.uk

We lobby government and businesses to improve parking, refuelling and access provision for disabled people, so that they can access the goods and services that they need. Disabled Motoring UK is not just an organization for disabled motorists; we also campaign for and support scooter and wheelchair users, families and carers.

Our continuing campaigns include: the abuse of disabled parking bays, the reform of the Blue Badge scheme, accessibility of city centers, and the lack of parking at healthcare facilities. Disabled Motoring UK will continue to co-ordinate the successful Baywatch campaign, which surveys the abuse of disabled parking space in supermarkets across the UK and encourages retailers to improve their provision and enforcement of Blue Badge bays.

On Friday 16th September 2011 we are holding the inaugural Disabled Motoring UK Awards to celebrate, those who have made a major contribution to improving equality and the lives of disabled people, throughout the UK.

Disabled Motoring UK were formerly known as 'Mobilise' and renamed in April 2011.

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